'Twas the Season, Part 12

In 1916, the U.S. Congress passed the first federal child labor laws in the U.S. But the Keating-Owen Act applied only to kids 16 or younger working in mines and factories. The law was aggressively opposed by textile mill owners in the South, however, and it was overturned by the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote in 1918.

It would be 20 years before another effort was made to regulate the labor of children. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 included restrictions on child labor that withstood a legal challenge in 1941.

This Christmas drawing makes a statement about child labor nearly a century ago. The drawing is from the December 1916 issue of Harper's magazine. The artist's name is Calvert, but I could not dig up his or her full name.

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