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Educator Opportunity: Exploring the Homestead Strike

By January 12, 2024Blog
A carved panel depicts the events of July 6, 1892.

A relief sculptural panel located on the grounds of the Pump House depicts the events of July 6, 1892.

The Homestead Strike & the Growth of America as an Industrial Power

This summer seventy-two educators from across the country will convene in Pittsburgh for a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop presented by Rivers of Steel and the Archives & Special Collections Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Entitled The Homestead Strike & the Growth of America as an Industrial Power, the workshop will be offered to two cohorts of thirty-six educators each during the weeks of July 7 – 13 and July 14 – 20, 2024.

The Battle of Homestead is considered the most famous event in American labor history. This workshop will provide educators with a comprehensive look at circumstances that led to the armed conflict and what its lasting impact has been in the United States. Participants will immerse themselves in the battle from both sides by examining primary sources related to Carnegie and Frick’s business practices, worker conditions, the direct aftermath of the battle, and what came in later years as U.S. business took stock of the relationship between management and labor.

An older white man stands at a podium in a brick room, in front of a slideshow projection for a group of people.

Les Standiford, author of Meet You in Hell,  addressed the 2022 cohort at the Pump House.

Suzi Bloom, Rivers of Steel’s director of education reflected on the program, which was first offered to educators in 2022. “My favorite aspect of this workshop is the opportunity for educators to visit the actual sites of the Battle of Homestead and watch them light up with lesson plan ideas as they comb through the ephemera and artifacts in the Rivers of Steel archives and the University of Pittsburgh Library System’s Archives & Special Collections.”

The seven days of programming and research includes extensive discussions and lectures with visiting scholars, along with faculty and staff from the presenting organizations. Daily site visits to relevant historic landmarks and museums, including to the Carrie Blast Furnaces and to Clayton, the home of Henry Clay Frick, will help educators to explore the details and consequences of the Homestead Steel Strike, expanding their insight into these impactful events.

A white man in a work shirt gestures towards archival images on a table adressing a small group of women.

Interpretive specialist Ryan Henderson shows part of the 2022 cohort items from Rivers of Steel’s archives during the visit to the Bost Building.Kelsie Paul, Manager of Interpretation at The Frick Pittsburgh, is excited to welcome everyone to the Frick this summer.  She says, “Working with Rivers of Steel is such a valuable partnership for us. Our work and our sites are inextricably linked, and we always love the opportunity to come together to tell our city’s story. We are really looking forward to sharing that story with the 2024 cohort.”

As noted above, this is the second time that Rivers of Steel and the Archives & Special Collections Department at the University of Pittsburgh are offering this workshop. It was first offered in 2022, when the program hosted sixty-seven teachers from across the United States for a weeklong immersive experience. Divided into two cohorts over two weeks in July, the educators explored the circumstances that led to the 1892 Battle of Homestead and its lasting impact on the United States. To learn more about the 2022 offering read our story, Immersed in the the Battle of Homestead.

To learn more about the 2024 workshop, visit the website for the workshop.