Audioburst Search

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919


Support for Steffi missed in history. Class comes from our friends at rocket mortgage by Quicken Loans. Finding the right house is not easy, but finding the right mortgage can be rocket mortgage is doing more to help you understand the home buying process so you can get exactly what you need because it's not just a mortgage, it's your mortgage, and they've found a better way they make the home buying process work for you. In fact, rocket mortgage is there with a word winning client service and support every step of the way visit rocket mortgage dot com slash history class and take the first step toward the home of your dreams. Equal housing lender. Licensed in all fifty states l s consumer access dot org, number thirty thirty rocket mortgage by Quicken Loans, push-button get mortgage. Hey everybody before we get started today. We have a cool announcement to make we are going to be in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for a live show on June twenty nine twenty nineteen that is part of great conversations at Gettysburg. That is a whole day of programming. Our part is at four PM when we will be doing fearless feisty and unflagging the women of Gettysburg, you can find out more information about this by coming to our website clicking in the menu where it says, live shows or just go to missed in history dot com slash shows. Again, that's June twenty ninth twenty nineteen in Gettysburg. Welcome to stuff you missed in history class, a production of heart radios. How stuff works? Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm Tracy v Wilson. And I'm Holly fry Holly, we've had kind of a run of nineteen nineteen episodes, recently know we did not plan that it just keeps happening. We had a collection of Centennial's slash coincidences. We have one more. I think this is the last, at least in terms of what I have on my plate, like this is the last nine hundred nineteen thing for a bit. I make no promises. I don't know. I'll find out halfway through a thing that it's really the nine hundred nineteen and they'll be like, well here we go. He said, we've gotten several listener requests for the center for the last few months as well including Adrian, Donna and Sheena. And this one is the Winnipeg general strike of nineteen nineteen it has some things in common with last month's episode on the Limerick Soviet. Some of the context is similar both things involves strikes, that basically shut down a whole city. But otherwise, these two events have a lot of differences, both in how they progressed and in their impact on their respective countries. So even though we just talked about a strike, they're very different stories in the wake of World War, One Canada was facing many of the same issues that have come up in our other recent nineteen nineteen episodes during the war, the cost of living had risen dramatically as much as seventy five percent in some parts of the country, wages had risen by more like ten to fifteen percent. So working people were facing huge financial difficulties most working people weren't making enough money to pay for food for their families. Let alone meeting there other base. Iq means on top of all that as the military was demobilized after the war. Soldiers and sailors were returning home, just as wartime industries were shutting down. This was happening in other parts of the world to an employment was a huge problem. And there wasn't a lot of transition support for these returning veterans when they were trying to re enter civilian life, often without being able to find a job as was happening in the United States. Canada was also in the middle of a red scare following the nineteen seventeen Russian revolution. It was a climate of suspicion in fear of Bolshevism and communism. These fears weren't just a reaction to the revolution, though they were also a response to changing patterns of immigration, these changes were happening in much of the country, but since today's episode is about events in Winnipeg Manitoba. We are going to focus on that part of it before the mid eighteen hundreds most Europeans in Manitoba were French, French Canadians became a minority in Manitoba and eighteen seventies in eighteen eighties as. Large numbers of people of British ancestry arrived from Britain as well as from other parts of Canada, particularly on -tario, which is the province next door. But in the one thousand nine hundred nineteen teams more and more people started emigrating to Canada and specifically to Manitoba from Russia and eastern Europe, the population of Winnipeg's soared to about one hundred ninety thousand people making it Canada's third largest city with a significant population of Slavic, and Jewish immigrants. These shifting demographics sparked a deep sense of racism, and resentment among Anglo Canadians, who feared these imigrants weren't assimilating into British Canadian society in, we're bringing Bolshevism and communism to Canada, with them, Slavic, and Jewish emigrants, definitely weren't the only people facing discrimination, and racism in Winnipeg in nineteen nineteen the region's first nations population had been forced onto reserves under a series of treaties and laws, including the Indian active eighteen seventy six. These were meant to eradicate first nations cultures and to force assimilation into European Canadian and particularly Anglo, Canadian society, these laws, did not apply to the may t-, who were people of both European and indigenous ancestry and Winnipeg had a significant. Msci population, many lived in the outer edge of southwest Winnipeg in the community known as rooster town, the origins of that particular name are not clear, but before nineteen nineteen many of Winnipeg's, MSCI population, worked delivering water door to door, but early that year construction was finished on an aqueduct that connected Winnipeg to show lake providing the city with a new supply of fresh water, but show lake was in honour snobby territory. So the completion of this aqueduct was delivering water to Winnipeg, but it was doing so by taking water from the Amish nubby specifically from the show lake forty reserve who were not really consulted or even considered during this process. This is something that has never been resolved. The aqueducts construction created, what was basically an artificial island so shoal lake forty is literally surrounded by Winnipeg's supply of fresh water, but has been under a boil order for its own water for more than twenty years. The aquit X completion also put much of Winnipeg's may population out of work, and there were few other industries open to them. All of this was underpinning, the Winnipeg general strike of nineteen nineteen although on its surface. The strike started out as a simple labor dispute during the nineteenth, many of Canada's industries were starting to unionize and union membership was growing dramatically, but this process was really inconsistent from one industry to another and even in different parts of the same industry by the end of World War, One workers in some industries had formed unions. But those unions were not recognized yet. Others had formed unions that were recognized and had negotiated contracts for their members. But hadn't been a successful as they had hoped for getting terms that they wanted the nature of the unions themselves, had also started to shift most of Canada's first unions were craft unions. And they were connected to one specific trade members of the Union's all did the same essential job. And the unions focus was on workplace issues that we're very specific to its members and their craft. But by the late nineteen teams a lot of industries were shifting over to an industrial union model where for example, everyone who works for the railroad was part of a railroad workers union, regardless of exactly what type of work, they were doing for the road as a general trend industrial unions were more focused on politics than craft unions were both types of unions, might vote to strike over things like pay or working conditions but industrial unions also tried to get members or sympathetic people into the government to change the laws that affected their workplaces and industries during the first World War, most Canadians. Had considered it unpatriotic for workers to go on strike, and then in the later, part of the war, an order in council prohibited workers from striking once the war was over, though. And that ordering council was nullified things started to change more union started using strikes as a tool to try to improve their pay and working conditions. But even so the victories tended to be really small, a successful strike might involve a wage increase of just a few pennies, and this wasn't unique to Canada or to nineteen nineteen it was part of a pattern in many parts of the world both before. And after nine hundred nineteen in one thousand nine hundred eighteen for example, a partial general strike in Winnipeg secured higher wages for the members of four civic, Union's Winnipeg's in one thousand nine hundred nine strikes started with its metal and building workers, both of these industries had lots of small unions that had established councils to try to represent all of them together because we're the building trades council and the metal. Trades council. The idea was that the unions had more bargaining power than workers did individually, but then these councils had more bargaining power than the individual unions did, if they were trying to negotiate separately. But the metal and building industries had nearly opposite responses to this attempt to collectively bargain. The builder's exchange was open to the idea of negotiating with the building trades council, negotiating with all the builders unions at once seemed like an efficient way to get one contract in place that apply to everyone. But even though the builder's exchange was expecting a postwar housing boom. It didn't think it could meet the building trades councils demands for better pay. Meanwhile, Winnipeg's three biggest metalworking companies were Manitoba bridge, and ironworks. The Vulcan iron works and the dominion bridge company. These were together known as the big three while the builder's exchange was expecting to get more work after the war. A lot of a metal production had been tied to wartime industries. Are being shut down? So the big three weren't really open to negotiating with the entire bettle trades council at once they thought they would get better terms by working with the nineteen member unions individually, they also sort of seemed more interested in saying that they supported worker's rights to collectively bargain than actually recognizing and bargaining with the unions, people felt like they were getting a lot of lip service from them on may. First nineteen nineteen the building trades council voted to go on strike, having been unsuccessful in their negotiations for higher wages the next day, the members of the metal trades council walked off the job as well. Not only because they wanted better pay in a forty hour workweek, but also because they wanted the big three to recognize the middle trades council as their collective bargaining unit these weren't the only workers voting to strike when a peg streetcar workers voted to strike at about the same time, although their strike didn't start immediately. And then in mid may workers. In other industries throughout the city joined the building and metal workers in a sympathetic strike, and we'll talk more about that after a sponsor break. Hey, I'm Andy. If you don't know me, it's probably, because I'm not famous, but I did start a men's grooming company called Harry's. The idea for Harry's came out of a frustrating experience. I had buying razor blades. Most brands were overpriced over designed and out of touch at Harry's. Our approach is simple. Here's our secret, we make sharp durable blades and sell them at honest prices for as low as two dollars each. We care about quality so much that we do some crazy things like a world class German blade factory obsessing over every detail means we're confident and offering one hundred percent quality guarantee. Millions of guys have already made the switch to Harry's. So thank you. If you're one of them, and if you're not, we hope you give us a try with this special offer, get a Harry starter set with a five blade razor waited handle shave gel, and a travel cover all for just three bucks. Plus free shipping. Just go to harrys dot com and enter four four. Four four at checkout. That's harrys dot com code four four four four. Enjoy. The Winnipeg trades and labor council or WT. L C is labor council that represents a whole collection of member unions. And it still exists today on may sixth, nineteen nineteen the WTO see polled its members about whether to join the building and metal unions and a sympathetic strike, and the result was an overwhelming. Yes with more than eleven thousand people voting in favor of going on strike in fewer than six hundred voting. No people voting. Yes, generally wanted to support the striking building and metalworkers and to reinforce the idea of collective bargaining in Winnipeg people voting no did. So for a number of reasons some thought that a strike wasn't necessary in this case others were in lower paying industries, and didn't think they should have to go without income to support people who were at the higher end of the pay scale for Winnipeg's. Unionized workers the general strike began at eleven AM on may fifteenth. That was the official start time. Although some people were striking. Earlier than that, some of the first workers to walk out where the switchboard operators, also known as the Hello girls. They collect out at the end of their shift at seven AM, and the next shift didn't come on to replace them. Also among the first to walk out where the bread and cake workers, which was another largely female occupation with shifts that ended in the very early morning hours. The sympathetic strike included both public and private employees, public employees included police and firefighters postal workers utility workers private employers included people who worked in factories and shops in transportation, about thirty thousand workers went on strike and about half of those participating did. So even though they weren't in a union. This brought the entire city to an almost immediate. Standstill a strike committee was also established to manage the strike it self and to keep essential services running as the strike was going on. It's fifty three members were elected from each of the WTO sees. Member unions, two of the committee were women. Meanwhile, Winnipeg's business, and civic leaders formed, the citizens committee of one thousand two both oppose the strike and to recruit people to replace the striking workers and essential industries, the citizens committee was extremely secretive, and it wasn't always clear who was and wasn't a member. And which efforts, they were organizing in which were being handled by other people in general, though, many of its members came from the Winnipeg board of trade, the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and the Manitoba bar association shortly after the strike started the citizens committee, the strike committee, and representatives from the Winnipeg government all met to try to work out a plan to keep things like the switchboard's and the water system and milk, and bread delivery, and firefighting operational. The result was an agreement that these types of services could continue to operate with a permit that was issued by the strike committee this. Clued things like the milk delivery trucks, having placards in the front that they were quote permited by authority of the strike committee. Very similar to some of the businesses during the Limerick strike. We talked about exactly. Here's an explanation published by William Evans, in the western labor news, on may seventeenth, it ram under the headline, why some industries are running, and it read quote theaters and picture shows are running under strike permit so that the worker can keep off the streets milk, and bread concerns are running under permits to feed the people hospitals are given permits so that the sick may not suffer. Water is kept at low pressure rather than cut off, so that the worker, she'll be able to get it light is supplied for the same reason. So it is with all these industries that work under permit of the straight committee. They are supplying the prime necessities of life to the worker, so that the fight may be carried on until it is won. All these concerns are organized fully and could be stopped at a minute's notice. But for the. Present the strike committee believes that it is better to let them run. Hence its order for them to stay on the job under permit. The citizens committee in the Winnipeg government were deeply opposed to the idea that essential services were being permitted by the strike committee, that seems too much like the strike committee, had just decided when and how to run the city. So the citizens committee and the government started focusing their attention on breaking the strike on getting people back to work as soon as possible to that, end the citizens committee organized its own volunteers to replace striking workers, this included six hundred people to operate the telephone and telegraph exchange of volunteer fire department and of all in tier security team to guard the fire boxes so that the fire department wasn't driven to exhaustion by false alarms. Some of the false alarms were pranks and others were meant to intentionally harass strikebreakers. The citizens committee also brought in volunteers to pump gas at the gas stations. And to run the. Pumps in the municipal water system. The strike committee, denounced all these volunteer groups as scabs, but there was a whole other layer to all of this, besides just the striking workers on one side, and the citizens committee in the city government on the other side, the government and the citizens committee also became absolutely convinced that this was not a simple labor dispute at all. Instead, they believed that radical communists and Bolsheviks had infiltrated Winnipeg's labour movement, and that this was a coordinated effort to violently overthrow the government of Winnipeg and replace it with a communist dictatorship. This idea was there, right from the beginning and was part of the reporting in most, but not all of the newspapers covering the story. For example, on may sixteenth, the Vancouver, world ran a headline that read Soviet government is in control in Winnipeg on may twenty second in the Winnipeg citizen, quote the red element, which planned to bring about anarchy in this country and on the ruins build a tyranny. Is made up of a small Genta of avowed Bolsheviks, who have succeeded by persistent scheming in taking the place of the sane leaders with an almost solid foreign born following also connected to all of this was the idea of one big union, which would represent all the workers in western Canada. This was a real idea, the trades and labour, congress of Canada had discussed it at the western labor conferences on March thirteenth of nineteen nineteen, but the one big union didn't exist yet. And it would not formally form in Calgary until June fourth at which point, the strike was well underway, even so there was this widespread perception that the one big union was behind the strike, and that all of it was an alien plot. They came to this conclusion, even though that union didn't exist yet. It did not help that the one big union idea was also connected to the industrial workers of the world. They key, the wobbly knees which were so widely reviled. And we're the targets and producers of so much propaganda that it is still hard to tell what was real. And what wasn't we talked about them in our bisbee deportation episode, just ignore the times that we finally called them the international workers of the world? You know that was my fault these things happen. To be clear, there were certainly Bolshevist and communists, among Winnipeg's labor unions, and among the striking workers, the striking workers were not a model with some wanted to strike for better pay and working conditions in recognition of their labor unions and labor councils. Others were certainly a lot more radical. And thought that capitalism itself needed to be replaced with some other more equitable system, and some of the language that was used among the strikers did praise the Russian revolution and favored, a more socialist or communist economic system. But there is no indication at all that this strike was part of a huge conspiracy to violently overthrow the Canadian government. Even so the government and the citizens committee heavily pushed the idea that this whole thing was the result of Soviet and communist influences. They insisted that aliens were to blame and characterized Winnipeg's growing Slavic and Jewish immigrant community as having taken. Over Winnipeg's labour. They maintain this position in spite of the fact that almost all of the prominent organizers of the strike itself, where people who had emigrated to Canada from Britain, not from somewhere else in Europe. In fact, there were no new immigrants from eastern or central Europe, on the strike committee at all the government and the citizens committee, also maintained this position in spite of the fact that as many as eighty five percent of Winnipeg's returning veterans were in support of the strike and veterans became increasingly visible among the strikers, as time went on this alternately became violent and we're going to talk about that after we I pause for a little sponsor break. This episode is brought to you by the Home Depot. You already trust the Home Depot for studs sheet rock electrical everything to build your house. Now you can make that house, your home by shopping. Thousands of decor, pieces that suit your taste from sofas to area rogues to that fo- floral. You've been admiring, the Home Depot has all the pieces, you need to create your dream space from start to finish and the best part free, and flexible delivery, and no hassle returns on everyday essentials and more find exactly what you're looking for at homedepot dot com slash decor. Your perfect home. It's waiting for you in just a click away. Plus for a limited time, you can save even more on the styles. You love when you use code history te- HD at checkout. Now there's more kinds of doing at the Home Depot. Valid on select items. Only free delivery on select items forty five dollars or more. Visit homedepot dot com. For more information. The Winnipeg general strike manage to unite workers all three Winnipeg largely cutting across gender, ethnicity and economic status its size and its scope were unprecedented in Canadian history. But at the same time, the government of Manitoba didn't really want to get involved in the early days of the strike. It left it largely up to the strike committee, and the citizens committee of one thousand and the city government to try to work it out among themselves, as we noted earlier the strike began on may fifteenth. The Winnipeg Tribune joined the strike returning to work on may twenty fours on the twenty sixth postal workers were ordered to return to their posts, but refused on may twenty ninth about two thousand veterans marched to the capitol to demand that employers be required to recognize collective bargaining rights two days later, ten thousand people made the same March to hear premier Tobias Norris's response. But he told them that was not. Within his control on June fourth a different group of veterans ones who opposed the strike marched to the capital to offer their assistance to restore order on June fifth. There were two different veterans parades, one opposing the strike and one supporting it, and that same day the province band parades. There are a lot of parades a lot. Yeah. There's a lot of marks the same things that you see another strikes were all happening here. There was a lot of marching demonstrating all of that going on through Alvis and although the government of Manitoba was reluctant to get involved. The federal government was concerned that this strike might spread to other cities, so in early June Gideon Robertson. He was minister of labour and Arthur, Megan who was minister of the interior and acting minister of Justice came to Winnipeg to assess the situation, but they only met with the citizens committee of one thousand they did not meet with the strike committee, or any of the strikers through all of this there. Were lectures, demonstrations educational events anti coordinated outreach program largely staffed by women to distribute food and supplies to the striking workers of we noted earlier, most of the leaders of the strike were immigrants to Canada from Britain, and on June six candidate, change the terms of the Immigration Act to allow British born immigrants to Canada and naturalized Canadian citizens to be deported if they were charged with sedition parliament, also expanded the definition of sedition in the criminal code also make the definition were abroad as well as include guilt by association on June ninth Winnipeg's police force was ordered to return to work denounce the strike and signed loyalty oaths. They refused and the city fired the mo-, replacing them with a force of eighteen hundred special constables known as specials most of whom were affiliated with the citizens committee of thousand they were armed with clubs and received a Sal. Theory that was higher than the police officers. They were replacing a day later, a riot broke out after specials on horseback armed with clubs charged into a demonstration on June twelfth a mass gathering in Victoria Park was nicknamed ladies day for its focus on working women by that point workers, and other parts of Canada were starting to strike in support of the workers in Winnipeg as well on June fourteenth the Vancouver, Sun scheduled an editorial titled no revolution in Vancouver that prompted that papers workers to walk off the job for four days. Canada's railroad unions hadn't participated in the strike in early June. They had offered to act as mediators railroad workers union structure was very similar to what the building workers had, and with the metal wanted individual unions rolled up into the, federated trades, and then the federated trades rolled up to an organization called division, four division, four appointed the negotiating. Committee, which negotiated for all the member unions on gene sixteenth, after ongoing negotiations through the railroad unions, the big three metal companies agreed to negotiate with the separate metalworking unions. But they made no mention of the metal trades council, they made this agreement under huge pressure from Gideon Robertson, the minister of labour who was worried that if the strike when a lot longer the railroad workers, who had been acting as mediators might ultimately, join it as well apart from the huge impact, this would have by shutting down the railroad, if the railroad workers joined the strike, that was probably going to cause the strike to just spread through the tire country, rather than having a few isolated communities that were supporting the strike with their own strike the leaders of the railroad unions, who had acted as negotiators released a statement that this was the same type of collective bargaining that the railroad workers enjoyed, but it really wasn't the reason for this about face is not entirely clear. But the railroad unions were also under. A lot of pressure from the minister of labour to get things resolved. And they feared they might lose their own unions recognition, if they didn't bring things to a close the general strike committee was really not satisfied with this outcome, especially because they had not even seen the last round of proposals during the negotiations before this announcement came about an agreement being reached there was also just a lack of clarity about exactly how to define collective bargaining. That was yet another layer of complexity in this whole situation. The big three was insisting that workers had collective bargaining powers because they had agreed to recognize the individual unions, but the workers or at least the more elite among the workers insisted that they did not have collective bargaining because the big three would not recognize the metal trades council, the strike committee, refused to call off the strike. So on June seventeenth, the north west mounted police aided by specials, raided the homes of several strike leaders, interested ten of the most prominent. As well as to members of the one big union, which by this point existed groups of eastern. European immigrants were arrested as well. And after the strike was over Canada. Deported waves of immigrants who were suspected of Bolshevism or communism, the arrested strike committee members were taken to Stony mountain penitentiary and they included union and labor leaders, John Queen a, a heaps, Robert, Lloyd. Russell and George Armstrong, Armstrong's wife, Helen was the head of the women's labour league, and it was one of the strikes, most visible women. She refused to let the authorities take her husband until she had confirmation that they actually had a warrant William Ivan's of the western labor news was also arrested, as was Roger e Bray, who was a former private in the Canadian army, who had been trying to rally support for the strike among military veterans initially the plan was to immediately deport the British-born strike leadership, but it became clear that even people who are opposed to the strike thought this was extreme. So. Authorities charged them with seditious conspiracy and planned to bring them to trial. Four days after these arrests on June twenty-first striking workers held a silent parade that day, the city's streetcars had started running again and the demonstrators stopped one of the streetcars and tipped it over this prompted the north west mounted police, and the specials to charge into the strikers, killing two people, and injuring at least thirty nearly one hundred people were arrested. The incident was nicknamed bloody Saturday and afterward federal troops occupied the city of Winnipeg at this point, the strikes, most vocal and radical leadership had been arrested leaving more moderate people in charge, and people began to fear that there would be more violence and more deaths if the strike continued, so on June twenty fifth nineteen nineteen the strike ended in the workers, who had not been fired for striking return to their jobs and the end this strike achieved almost none of its goals, the metalworkers hours. Reduced by five per week, which was less than the reduction they had asked for. But that was really it civic employees were also required to sign documents attesting that they would not strike again in the future before they were allowed to return to their jobs afterward. There was a hugely bitter divide between labor and capital. The citizens committee of one thousand continued to try to undermine labor organization long after the strike was over the strike. And the committee's continued work had an overall chilling effect on labor activism, immediately afterward in July of nineteen nineteen a commission was convened to investigate what had happened during the strike, just as our Robeson led the inquiry and rejected the idea that it was a revolution meant to overthrow the government. His report supported the idea that this was a dispute over the issue of collective bargaining and that the strike was not seditious. And it's character in spite of that several of the strikes, leaders were tried for seditious conspiracy in November of nineteen nineteen. In the early months of nineteen twenty in prosecutions that were funded by the department of Justice under the war, appropriation act. Robert Boyd, Russell was convicted in December nineteen nineteen on March twenty seventh nineteen twenty six other leaders were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Roger e Bray was also convicted of being a common nuisance that immediate chilling effect on Canada's labor movement started to lift as these trials were happening. Labor leaders were elected in both municipal and provincial elections in nine hundred nineteen in nineteen twenty some of those leaders were still incarcerated for the role in the strike that they had played when they were elected the conservative party was defeated in the nineteen twenty one federal election and the newly elected government promised labor reforms provinces also started enacting collective bargaining legislation in the nineteen forties. With the federal government enacting a collective bargaining statute in nineteen forty eight after being released many. The strikes leaders went on to be active in the labor movement. And in the government John Queen and William Ivan's. Bo served in the Manitoba legislature. And John Queen served as the mayor of Winnipeg for seven nonconsecutive terms. Abraham he was elected as a member of parliament, j s woods worth had been charged in connection to the strike. But those charges were later dropped he became a member of parliament as well. He also helped found the cooperative Commonwealth federation, which later became the new Democratic Party since the series, the hundredth anniversary of the strike happening. There's been a lot going on related to it in the last few years, monument to the strike was unveiled at lily street at market avenue and twenty seventeen. That monument is made of metal to honor the striking metalworkers a bloody Saturday monument was scheduled to be unveiled on June twenty-first twenty nineteen that is after we are recording this podcast, but before the podcast is coming out. There's also been a lot of hundred anniversary stuff. Happening in Winnipeg, including a huge labor conference to sort of commemorate it and function as a labour conference. Do you have listener mail? I do it listener mail. I'm not sure the name of the listener who has sent this. They didn't sign the Email, but it says I was wondering if you could provide more context regarding the Quakers and others, that would not have the bell rung for them that were referenced that was in the Samuel peeps. Episode, mainly, why would Quakers not want the bell rung and why even ringing the bell in the first place. I listened on the regular and appreciate the stimulating thoughts conjure up the rest of the day after listening to this pod. So thank you for this Email. So that was in the Samuel peeps episode and Samuel peeps diary, about how many people had died of the plague he made a comment about how the number might actually be a lot higher because of Quakers and others who would not have the bell rung for them. So there were bells being rung. For lots of different reasons at this point in London. And then specifically during the plague for multiple reasons bells would be rung at churches when deaths were reported and bells would also be rung at burials part of this was required by law. The idea was that if they were these bells ringing, every time somebody died that maybe people would remember to take precautions about the plague, but all of this bell ringing was happening when people had a church that they were part of, and we're being buried in the churchyard and Quakers and other people who were part of like non-conforming denominations, were generally being buried in their own graveyard that wasn't part of a church and did not have that church bell connected to it. So I think that's what he's referring to in terms of the bell being rung, usually when Quakers and others were buried that just wasn't part of the, the funeral or the death notify. Nations. So that has led to some lack of clarity in terms of the death records from the plague because a lot of the record keeping was being kept through formal church channels. So if you were part of non-conforming religion that did not have those church channels your death might not ever be formally recorded. So thank you for that question. If you would like to write to us about this, or any of their podcast history podcasts, that, how stuff works dot com, and then we were all over social media atmos- in history. That is where you will find our Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram Twitter, all of that, you can come to our website, which is missing history dot com and find a searchable archive of all the episodes, we have worked on and showed for all the episodes Holly, and I have done together, and you can subscribe to our show at apple podcasts, the iheartradio app and Brevard else. Get your podcast. Stuffy missed in history classes, a production of iheartradio's. How stuff works for more podcasts for my heart radio. Visit the iheartradio app, apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Maybe it's who you woke up next to this morning. Maybe it's what you had for dinner last night. Oh, how you getting to work right now? It's invisible but AI is already making decisions for us on sleep. Walkers were speaking with the smartest people in the world and taking you inside the headquarters of Facebook, the NYPD and a secret lab at Google to find out what the revolution will mean for us. Listen and subscribe to sleep. We'll apple put costs on the iheartradio app. All wherever you listen to podcasts.

Coming up next