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The first women's strike in the USA took place in New Hampshire

If you're like this author, you love learning random facts about the place you live.

You'll learn something new to stimulate your brain while also being able to share a nugget of wisdom with your friends.

There are all sorts of fun facts about New Hampshire. For example, you probably knew that the state bird is the purple finch and that Alan Shepard – the first American in space – was born in East Derry (you can test your knowledge even further here).

But did you know that the country's first women's strike took place in the Granite State?

The story of the Dover Mill girls’ strike

Over 200 years ago, in 1812, the Cocheco Manufacturing Company was founded in Dover and specialized in “harnessing the water power of the Cochecho River for the manufacture of cloth.” The thriving company needed thousands of workers to keep operations going and in 1822 posted an ad seeking “intelligent, able girls between the ages of 12 and 25” and promised “steady employment and good advancement,” according to the New England Historical Society.

But it soon became clear that conditions were far from ideal. The girls earned just 47 cents a day, worked 12-hour shifts with only one break, inhaled fumes, worked with dangerous machinery (resulting in several mutilated limbs), and had to follow strict codes of conduct.

Dover 400 via Facebook

Dover 400 via Facebook

What was the cause of the strike?

In 1828, according to the city of Dover, the workers had to accept a pay cut after a change in the company's ownership. This event was the last straw. On December 30 of that year, around 400 girls – about half of all factory girls – went on strike in protest, marching in a half-mile procession “with signs and banners around the factory and even lighting two barrels of gunpowder.” The event was the first women's strike in the United States.

Was the strike successful?

The town of Dover stated that the fate of the strike was sealed when factory owners began seeking replacement workers, causing protesters to quit in order to keep their jobs. However, the women's zeal and enthusiasm did not go unnoticed, and some future protests in New England resulted in both better wages and better working conditions.

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