Great Strike Ignites The Nation

The Great Strike of 1877 was not exclusive to Pittsburgh. The first signs of what would become a popular uprising appeared on the B&O Line in Baltimore, on July 16th 1877. Unrest in Baltimore was initially suppressed. The next day, however, trainmen in Martinsburg, West Virginia went on strike. News from Martinsburg helped to re-ignite the flame of discontent in Baltimore. Citizens rose up in support of workers and met violent opposition from the Maryland National Guard.


Within a week, the strike reached more than a dozen lines and extended from New York State west to the Rockies and south to Texas. Mass rallies were held in Buffalo, Albany, Trenton, Boston and New York City. In Chicago, a crowd of 10,000 people fended off police attacks. A general strike in Saint Louis lasted five days. Over all, 100,000 people are estimated to have participated in the strike and the popular uprising that ensued in many cities across the country.


13th Street and Mulberry Way, near the Heinz History Center, Strip District: 40.44675, -79.99158

Current State

This historical marker was removed by officials at the Heinz History Museum in the summer of 2008, as it bore "a remarkable resemblance to state historic markers and could lead the general public to believe that they have some official sanction."