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"Mother" Mary Harris Jones urging on steel workers during the 1919 Steel Strike.
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Mary Jones urging on steel workers during the 1919 Steel Strike.

Credit: Library of Congress

In 1919, Mary Harris Jones, now in her eighties, rallied steel workers to vote "yes" on a nationwide strike against the steel corporations. Traveling through Pennsylvania steel towns up and down the Monongahela River, she was frequently arrested for speaking to workers. Asked by a Pittsburgh judge if she had a permit to speak on the streets, she replied "Yes, sir, I had a permit." When he growled "Who issued it?" she shot back "Patrick Henry; Thomas Jefferson; John Adams!"

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