Today’s Irish Times (Saturday, 25th March 2017), includes a features an interesting article on Mary Harris / Mother Jones. The feature, which is part of an ongoing series of diaspora related articles under the heading “Irish Connections”, covers Mother Jones ‘ personal journey and her campaigning across North America for the rights of working people and their families, especially those consigned to the margins of society and without a voice.
The full article can be read here: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/mary-harris-who-became-mother-jones-the-united-states-fiercest-union-organiser-1.3017717
An interesting story which appeared in the Huffington Post about a month ago regarding a new campaign that has been started in the United States to have Mother Jones commemorated on a postage stamp in her adopted country.
According to the article by author, playwright and former union activist David Macaray, a group of US labour activists and historians have got together and formed a campaign to put a Mother Jones stamp on millions of letters, postcards and parcels posted in the USA. Macaray argues that if Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne could be featured on postage stamps, then why not Mother Jones?
The campaign is asking people, and particularly US citizens, to write to the US Postal Administration and ask for Mother Jones to be featured on a commemorative stamp in the near future. It is a call we wholeheartedly endorse at the Cork Mother Jones Commemorative Committee. As we’re at it, the same request could be put to the Irish postal authorities (An Post). They even have an online form where suitable subjects and individuals who people think should be put on commemorative stamps can be suggested. You can make that submission here. There is a precedent for join stamp issues between the US and Ireland. In the past identical stamps were issued simultaneously in the US and Ireland to mark the 150th anniversary of the Irish Great Famine. Maybe we can make that a transatlantic campaign to put the head of Mother Jones on postage stamps on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean!
The Cork Mother Jones Commemorative committee has announced the preliminary programme of events for the Fesitval which will be held in the Shandon area on the Northside of Cork City, Ireland from 31st July to 2nd August 2012.
The Festival opens on Tuesday, 31st July with the Irish premiere of Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman with the film’s director / producer Rosemary Feuer present to discuss the film and its subject. This will be followed by an evening of music and song at the Maldron Hotel with the Cork Singers’ Club.
Day two, entitled “The Main Event”, opens with a commemorative Mass at Cork’s North Cathedral where Mary Harris was baptised exactly 175 years earlier to the day on 1st August 1837. This will be followed by a tour of the area for our guests and the official opening of the Mother Jones Exhibition and a concert at the Firkin Crane centre, part of Cork’s historic butter market. In the afternoon there will be a lecture and discussion with Prof. Elliot Gorn, biographer of Mother Jones; and Marat Moore, former miner, writer and US labour activist. Wednesday evening’s events will be opened with the ringing out of the world famous Shandon Bells over Cork City at exactly 18.37 hrs to mark the 175th anniversary of Mother Jones’ birth. This will be followed by a recital from the local Butter Exchange Brass band and the official unveiling of the Mother Jones plaque, beautifully sculpted by artist Mick Wilkins, at John Redmond Street, Shandon.
The night will be completed with the “Freedom Bells” concert at St. Ann’s Church of Ireland Shandon with the renowned singer / songwriter Andy Irvine who has recorded a song dedicated to Mother Jones There will also be an event entitled Mother Jones – music, song and dance at the Maldron Hotel, featuring Hank Wedel, Two Time Polka and a host of musicians, singers and dancers.
The event will end with a day long tour for the guests, taking in Shandon, Cobh and Inchigeelagh, all places which were associated with Mother Jones.
You can download the preliminary programme Mother Jones Programme. The final programme will be published in early June.