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    In the U.S. Senate, Mary Harris Jones, who was known as "Mother Jones," was called "the grandmother of all agitators." QUOTES: Quotes Mother Jones was often accused of being an “unladylike.” Her response was “a lady is the last thing on earth I want to be. Capitalists sidetrack the women into clubs and make ladies of them.” “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” “My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there is a fight against wrong.” “No matter what the fight, don’t be ladylike! God almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies.” “I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.” “The employment of children is doing more to fill prisons, insane asylums, almshouses, reformatories, slums, and gin shops than all the efforts of reformers are doing to improve society.”

    • Gill Danby

      The Eloquent Woman: Famous Speech Friday: Mother Jones Speaks Before Striking West Virginia Miners. Link to speech transcript

    • Robin Elaine

      Especially from people who don't have kids. Babysitting and taking care if other people's children doesn't count. Until you have one of your own, your opinions are invalid!!

    • Gaye Grace

      September 30, 1899: Mother Jones organizes the wives of striking miners in Arnot, Pennsylvania, to descend on the mine with brooms and mops and clanging pots and pans. "I told the men to stay home with the children for a change and let the women attend to the scabs." The women frightened away the mules and their scab drivers and returned daily to keep watch. The miners eventually won their strike.

    • Denise Graveline

      "Get it straight: I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser." This week, our Famous Speech Friday is a 1912 speech given by activist Mother Jones to West Virginia miners. Click through for what you can learn from this speech, plus rare video of her speaking.

    • Michele Biery

      In honor of #LaborDay, we’d like to celebrate one the most influential labor activists in American history. Mother Jones became an “agitator” after experiencing two significant tragedies—the death of her husband and four children in a yellow fever outbreak, and then the loss of her dressmaking shop and home in the Great Chicago Fire a few years later.

    • Erin Mahin

      "Get it straight: I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser." This week, our Famous Speech Friday is activist Mother Jones

    • Jo Binion

      Mother Jones Speaks Before Striking West Virginia Miners. Editor's Note: I love that the only reason we have a transcript of this speech is because the mine owners hired a stenographer, hoping to charge Jones with inciting dangerous behavior.

    • Kim Bongiorno


    • Peachtree Publishers

      mother jones children's march - Google Search

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    "Mother" Mary Harris Jones... Irish immigrant who lost her family to yellow fever and became the self-proclaimed mother and “hell-raiser” for the downtrodden American laborer, especially children.

    Mother Jones quote

    Mary Harris "Mother" Jones 1830-1930 after her husband and 4 children died of yellow fever and her workshop was destroyed in a fire in 1871, she began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and United Mine Workers union. She was known as Mother Jones. In 1902 she was called "the most dangerous woman in America" for her success in organizing mine workers/their families.

    As part of their 1937 strike, these corset workers, members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, marched in their corsets. Via:

    Today in labor history: Mother Jones was born May 1, 1837

    Clara Lemlich led the Uprising of N.Y. garment workers. "I am a working girl, one of those striking against intolerable conditions," she told the crowd. "And I have no further patience for talk." 700 of the women she led on the strike were arrested, 19 were sentenced to labor camps. The next year a fire in her workplace, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killed 146 workers: steel doors had been bolted shut to prevent workers from going on breaks. She lived to be 96.

    Miner Boy: Children were cheap labor in the mines. This boy spent 10 hours a day in that outfit with only the light from that tallow wick lamp. He cleaned and played the part of a “canary” (kids were easier to replace than good miners). He was probably Finnish or Swedish and indentured to the company for the purpose of paying his father's debts. The unions fought bloody battles to get these children out of the coal mines. This little guy worked (and likely died) in a Utah or Colorado mine.

    Dolores Huerta a noted American labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with César Chávez, co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers', immigrants', and women's' rights, including the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award and the United States Presidential Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award.

    Native Americans

    African American Family

    Union strong. United we bargain, divided, we beg. Unions Deserve our support. They gave us health insurance, sick pay, vacations, workers compensation and overtime pay!

    ''All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.'' I have the best mom.

    Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

    Elizabeth Gurley Flynn - was a labor leader, activist, and feminist who played a leading role in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Flynn was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a visible proponent of women's rights, birth control, and women's suffrage.

    A mother and her five sons gather around a photograph of her husband and their father.

    Women in the War Industry Amanda Smith, an African-American woman employed in the Long Beach Plant of the Douglas Aircraft Company. Between 1940 and 1944, approximately one million civilian African Americans entered the labor force; 600,000 of them were female. The proportion of black women in industrial occupations almost tripled during the war, rising from 6.5 to 18 percent. Los Angeles-area aircraft plants were among the first to offer them employment.

    Anonymous. A demonstration by unemployed workers (their various trades are on display) prepared to labor for $1 a week during the Great Depression, 1930s.

    Inez Milholland Boissevain (August 6, 1886 – November 25, 1916) was a suffragist, labor lawyer, World War I correspondent, and public speaker who greatly influenced the women's movement in America.

    ‘Clara “Mother” Hale, humanitarian who founded the Hale House, a sanctuary for drug-addicted and HIV/AIDS-infected babies in Harlem, NY.

    Victorian mother and children