History, the Labor Movement and DC  

Today is a sad and scary day. An Iranian teacher and unionist has been taken from his cell for execution. I've already signed up through Joe's Union Review, sending a message to the Iranian President, I hope you will, too.

This post isn't about the execution, it's about Labor History in the DC area.

Take for instance, I never noticed there's a statue to A Philip Randolph

Union Station
Columbus Cir at Mass Ave and First St
Washington, DC, United States

Honors the labor leader and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

I've been inside Union Station, hell I've even noticed the statue, but I never really noticed it.
I also didn't know that Joe Hill's Ashes are in the National Archives:

National Archives
7th & D Sts
Washington, DC, United States

Joe Hill provided the American labor movement with one of its most compelling slogans: "Don't Mourn. Organize!" Although he never visited Washington, labor songwriter and agitator Joe Hill turned up posthumously. After his execution by the state of Utah on a trumped-up murder conviction, Hill's body was sent to Chicago to be cremated (Hill had famously declared that he did not want to "be caught dead in Utah"). Packets of his ashes were then mailed to members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or Wobblies) to be scattered in every state. One such packet, intercepted by postal officials under the Espionage Act, ended up at the National Archives. Thanks to the Potomac Labor History Association, the ashes were turned over to the IWW in 1988. However, the envelope remains in the National Archives. It bears a photo of labor's martyr and the caption "Joe Hill, murdered by the capitalist class, November 19, 1915. Industrial Workers of the World. We must never forget." (Jon Garlock, based on reports in the New York Times 11/17/88 and The New Yorker 12/.19/88)

Chris Garlock of the DC Labor Council did one hell of a job putting this Labor Map together, and I for one am so glad he did.

Now, get off my site and over to Joe's so that you can take action on Iran.

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