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Tributes to Mother Jones on May Day in Morgantown


The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — May 1 was May Day and International Workers’ Day.

Mention the latter and Mary Harris Jones — “Mother Jones” — comes to mind.

Mother Jones posing beside her 100th birthday cake, in 1930.
(Submitted photo)

The fiery organizer, and Irish immigrant who lost her husband and four young children in the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1867, regularly took on coal companies in West Virginia during the early days of the 20th century.

Those were dark days for the industry. Safety experts said one’s odds of survival were greater on a World War I battlefield than in a West Virginia coal mine.

On WVU’s Evansdale and Downtown campuses, organizers created modest tributes to Jones, with cupcakes and handouts chronicling her life and times.

Jessica Eichlin, a WVU libary employee, said she was amazed that Jones could endure for others in face of her own crushing loss.

“She came back again, for us.”

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