O'Fallon Progress

Workers celebrate the eight-hour day

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com
“Eight Hour Day” Day celebrations were a big affair in O’Fallon at one time.

Held on April 1, they commemorated the anniversary of the date the United Mine Workers won the right to an eight-hour work day in 1898. In 1909, the celebration was planned by Locals 703 and 705 of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Festivities started with a parade, several blocks long, that began at 1 p.m. at State and Oak and continued east to the Taylor Opera House at 220 E. State, where a crowd assembled inside to hear Gertrude B. Hunt and John P. White give speeches.

Hunt was active in both the Socialist and the women’s suffrage movement. White was the retiring national vice president of the UMWA, who would later become its president in 1911.

The O’Fallon Quartette also entertained with “several pleasing selections.” Food was provided both at noon and in the evening at City Hall. The day concluded with an evening dance at Moonlight Hall at First and Cherry.

75 years ago

March 25, 1943

The first contingent of members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps arrived at Scott Field early Monday morning to take over assigned duties. These be-skirted feminine soldiers came by rail from Daytona Beach, Fla., and took off from there for Scott Field’s new 58th WAAC Post Headquarters Company, AAF. It was the first group to ever be assigned to actual Army post duty in this area. Their quarters, newly constructed barracks, are located at the northwest end of Scott Field.

50 years ago

Mar. 21, 1968

The O’Fallon Sportsmen's Club met recently in their newly refinished building at the lake site on the O’Fallon-Shiloh Road. All future meetings will be held in this building. A limit was put on fish with the by-laws changed to state as such: eight fish total limit per membership with a twelve-inch length limit on bass and no length limit on bluegill.