In times like these, a voice like that of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones grows more and more needed with every passing day.
If you’ve never heard it before, take the time to listen to that voice. It’s the only recording we have of it. The occasion was May 1, 1930, the 100th birthday of Mother Jones.
If only we had a nationally famous person who would ever dare to say the kinds of things Mother Jones used to say. I can’t think of one.
Mother Jones marching to give Theodore Roosevelt what-for about children spending their days in coal mines instead of schools.
Here are some other pithy things the microphone might have recorded if it had been available on other days in Mother Jones’ life:
I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.
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.
If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold I will shout Freedom for the working class!
By the bye, Mother Jones was capable of stretching the truth every now and then. This recording was supposedly made on Mother Jones’ 100th birthday, but the evidence shows that when she died later on in 1930, she was actually only 93 years old.
Politifact has called this “the lie of the last 100 years.”