Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
September 19—Musician and labor educator Joe Glazer, often referred to as “Labor’s Troubadour,” died today at age 88. Some of his more acclaimed songs include “The Mill Was Made of Marble,” “Too Old to Work” and “Automaton.” In 1979 he and labor folklorist Archie Green convened a meeting of 14 other labor musicians to begin what was to become the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange and, soon thereafter, the Labor Heritage Foundation – 2006
September 20—According to folklorist John Garst, steel-drivin’ man John Henry, born a slave, outperformed a steam hammer on this date at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of the Norfolk Southern) near Leeds, Ala. Other researchers place the contest near Talcott, W. Va. – 1887
September 21—Mother Jones leads a march of miners’ children through the streets of Charleston, W. Va. – 1912
(Mother Jones Speaks: Speeches and Writings: You can read here the actual speech Jones made on this day in 1912 to striking coal miners in Charleston, WV: “…this crime, starvation and murder of the innocents, so they can fill the operators’ pockets, and build dog kennels for the workers. Is it right?” Admirers of Mother Jones will want this comprehensive collection of her speeches, letters, articles, interviews and testimony before Congressional committees. In her own words, this brave and determined heroine, active from the end of the Civil War until shortly before her death in 1930, explains her life, her mission, her passion on behalf of working people.)
—Click here for the complete posting.
Labor Video: Almost (or Absolutely) Evil
Meet Joyce and Karen Koch—two ordinary everyday Americans who share the last name. They are not related to right wing moneymen David and Charles Koch… or to each other, but they are sisters where it counts—in spirit, in union solidarity, and in their shared values. Click here to watch the video.