25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

November 29, 2021

December 2, 1996

Days after his reelection, William Clinton began preparations to cut Medicare and Social Security under the banner of balancing the federal budget. In doing so, the Democratic president is pushing for a bipartisan agreement with the leaders of the Republican majority in Congress.

“My plan would cut payments to providers and make some other changes,” Clinton said on the ABC news program “This Week.”

Medicare, which covers health care for the elderly and disabled, was enacted in 1965 along with Medicaid, which provides health coverage for low income families. These programs were an extension of concessions working people won through earlier labor battles, registered in the Social Security Act of 1935.

While meddling with federal retirement benefits may take a little more time, preparations to cut Medicare are on the front burner.

December 3, 1971

Now that the Nov. 20 demonstrations for repeal of anti-abortion laws are over, it is important to evaluate the impact of the marches in San Francisco and Washington.

The most important accomplishment was that for the first time the abortion movement was able to reach large numbers of people with the clear message that the women’s movement wants abortion to be a woman’s right to choose and that women want repeal, not just reform, of anti-abortion laws.

Another significant aspect of Nov. 20 was its international character. Actions in Paris, Canada, New Zealand, and England, as well as here, served to inspire the women’s movement around the world. Through building the demonstrations, many new women were involved for the first time in the movement.

And 6,000 women in this country, joined by thousands elsewhere, is a force to be reckoned with.

November 30, 1946

The bitter battle between the nation’s 400,000 striking soft coal miners and Wall Street’s government is rapidly developing into the most crucial struggle ever faced by American labor. Both the AFL and CIO have issued public denunciations of the infamous federal injunction against the mine strike.

The government is threatening savage reprisal against United Mine Workers President John L. Lewis for refusing to comply with the most fantastic strikebreaking injunction from a federal court. This injunction commands Lewis to withdraw the announcement of the termination of the UMW contract with the Truman administration.

The determined miners have made clear their stand: “You can’t mine coal with injunctions!” By the day before the contract termination, more than 127,000 miners had quit the pits in defiance of the capitalist government.