I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Route 66 Roadside: Mother Jones

Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones) was like every one's mother...teaching us what's correct, moral and ethical. Her story is still teaching the power of speaking the truth, standing up for others and working for everyone.

The kids and I are traveling down Route 66 (read more of our Rt66 adventures at The Grateful Muses). We made it to Mount Olive, Illinois when we noticed a marker for Mother Jones at the Union Miner's Cemetery on the outskirts of town...another side trip to take a look at another bit of history that shaped American labor, mining conditions, child labor, and unions.

Mary was a schoolteacher and dressmaker. She lost her husband and four children to yellow fever and then her dress shop was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Speaking for myself, I'm not sure I could continue on but at 60 years of age...Mary took on a new roll as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers union

Mary become know as 'Mother Jones d coordinate major strikes demanding better conditions for miners. Her organizing skills demanding
better conditions for miners and better laws and stronger enforcement of those laws regarding child labor.  She was so successful that in 1903she was dubbed 'the most dangerous women in America"

Mother Jones gave no apology for speaking the truth. She demanded that workers and families be treated fairly, humanly, and with respect. She stood for all the values that mothers everywhere stand for...a better life for their children...and her story teaches us that one person regardless of age can make a huge difference when we act for those in need. Her impact on workers, families, unions, laws and organizing shows how dynamic one women can be even amiss lost, suffering, and adversity. RIP Mother...

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