On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford announced he was raising salaries to $5 a day for 8 hours of work, starting June 12.
It was an effort to prevent turnover (close to 400% in 1913) and to ensure that his employees could afford to buy the cars they made. The previous wage was $2.34 for nine hours of work.
The news prompted more than 10,000 people to show up at the company’s Highland Park plant to apply for jobs – some came as early as 3 a.m. the next day.
Men 22 years and older were eligible.
Zlati Meyer, This Week in Michigan History, January 4, 2009, B.4.
Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.
John Gallagher, “Henry Ford’s $5 Day creates modern Detroit, causes shift in U.S. society”, Detroit Free Press, January 5, 2013
Ford’s Five Dollar Day, Henry Ford Blog, January 3, 2014.