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Labor Lyceum
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VISIT Introducing Labor  Films at LaborFilms.org

Film still The Navigators movie

SEE Rochester: A  Community of Workers  Photo Exhibit

machinist at work



Rochester's original Labor Lyceum, inaugurated in 1897 by local unions and socialists, met Sundays in the Common Council of the old City Hall. The Lyceum presented speakers, papers and debates on topics ranging from the principles of trade unionism to child labor, from issues of academic freedom to current socialist literature. In 1911 the mayor, upset with such programs, expelled the Lyceum from City Hall.

The program was continued at the Progressive Working People's Lyceum, built on St. Paul Street in 1912. The Lyceum housed radical unions such as the Amalgamated Optical Workers and the Brewers, provided space to socialist organizations, and continued to host weekly lectures and discussions on labor topics through the 1950's.

The Labor Council revived the Lyceum Program in 1998, initially hosting monthly programs at Rundel Public Library before relocating the program to the NYSUT hall at 30 North Union Street.

Lyceum programs are now held periodically on Saturdays in the fall and spring. (See the Lyceum Schedule).

These programs are free, though donations are accepted to cover the cost of refreshments. On-site parking is free.

Labor Lyceum Schedule