John L. Mitchell became the fifth president of the United Mine Workers in 1899 at the young age of 29. Under his leadership, the mine workers won a 10 percent pay increase, and then asked a 20 percent increase, an eight hour day and other improvements. The Anthracite Strike of 1902 became the longest strike in the history of coal mining. It was the largest and longest labor action in the world up until that time and the most important strike in American history. It laid the foundation for the entire labor movement in the United States. The monument to Mitchell's memory stands before the Lackawanna Courthouse in downtown Scranton.