Black farmers form union
On this day in 1886, a small group of black farmers formed the Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County. The National Colored Alliance appeared at about the same time, and the two organizations merged. By 1891 the Alliance claimed a membership of 1,200,000. The organization tried to help the members to become better farmers, established a weekly newspaper, the National Alliance, established exchanges in the ports for reduced prices, raised funds for schools, and provided help for sick and disabled members. In 1891, after a strike against white farmers failed to materialize, the Alliance declined rapidly.