Labor Organizer Joe Hill: Executed This Day in 1915
Though state authorities had little use for the worldwide clemency bid whose backers included U.S. President Woodrow Wilson -- powerless to intervene officially, since the execution was a state matter -- Hill walked spryly into his martyrdom.
His dauntless last message to fellow Wobbly Bill Haywood -- "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize." -- is a permanent fixture on pins and placards among every stripe of left activist. The songs he wrote remain in print -- and in performance.
And the Depression-era tribute ballad "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" can seamlessly serenade ripped-from-the-headlines footage, as a Paul Robeson rendition does in these clips of 1998 protests against then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
(Cross-posted from ExecutedToday.com)
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