Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark 200th Anniversary

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, you’re invited to the First Strike Festival at Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Enjoy a day of live music, history, and family-friendly fun at this free event from 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. EST.

In 1824, a pivotal moment in labor history occurred when one hundred women weavers initiated the first industrial labor strike in U.S. history in Pawtucket. The National Park Service celebrates this historic event with an annual festival, now in its third year. Explore new mini exhibits commemorating the 200th anniversary of the strike, take a tour of the historic mill, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark. Bring a blanket and picnic, play traditional games, and be entertained by singers, songwriters, and dancers.

The festival’s lineup includes Pawtucket-based singer-songwriter J. Michael Graham as the MC, followed by award-winning singer Kim Moberg starting at 12:30 P.M. Students from the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Pawtucket will perform a dance inspired by the 1824 women strikers at 1:30 P.M. The Mystic Garland Dancers will take the stage at 2:00 P.M. and lead the audience in a May Pole Dance. Connecticut State Troubadour Kala Farnham will close the performances at 2:45 P.M. Be sure not to miss live spinning demonstrations and other outdoor activities throughout the day.

Park rangers will be offering free tours and labor history talks inside and outside Slater Mill. Mill tours, limited to 25 people, will be held at 10:30 A.M., 12:30 P.M., and 2:30 P.M. Visitors are also encouraged to attend a Labor History Talk with a ranger, available every hour from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M., or listen to a longer open-air presentation about the 1824 strike at 11:30 A.M. or 3:30 P.M. Additionally, there will be partner tables featuring staff from various organizations, including the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Everyday Anthropology, Wedges of Time, RI Labor History Society, RI Spinners Guild, and the URI Master Gardeners.

For more information, visit the website at www.nps.gov/BLRV.

Disclaimer: This above news story is based on a press release from the National Park Service, which was issued on April 12, 2024. You can read the original release here.

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Feature image: nps.gov

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