Joe Hill Assassinated by State of Utah 101 Years Ago Today

joe hill up closeJoe Hill, a labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), was assassinated by firing squad in the courtyard of the Utah State Penitentiary in Salt Lake City on November 19, 1915.

The IWW, or Wobblies as they were known, were advocates of organizing all workers into One Big Union. It is reported that Joe had been framed for murder by copper bosses, the press and government forces.


Just prior to his execution, as Joe stood before the firing squad he propelled himself him from organizer to labor martyrdom with these words: “Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize!”

Joe Hill’s Will:

My will is easy to decide,
For there is nothing to divide.
My kin don’t need to fuss and moan,
“Moss does not cling to a rolling stone.”

My body? Oh, if I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce,
And let the merry breezes blow,
My dust to where some flowers grow.

Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again.
This is my Last and final Will.
Good Luck to All of you,
Joe Hill

 

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Joe Hill’s funeral

Read more about Joe Hill here.

Learn much more about Hill via William M. Adler’s excellent biography, The Man Who Never Died, here.

Special thanks to the Peacebuttons.info This Week in History calendar for the heads-up!

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