Irish born Mary Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones, became a dedicated labor organizer in the 1870s.
She was especially concerned about the wrongs suffered by coal miners and by children who had to work.
In the early 1900s, during a strike in Pennsylvania, she organized miners’ wives to keep strikebreakers out of the mines. Armed with dishpans and brooms, these women proved a formidable force.
Following Jones’s advice, women who were arrested took along their babies and sang to them all night, keeping the jail keepers awake and ensuring an early release.
Mother Jones made the headlines again in 1903.
To protest inadequate child labor laws, she led a group of striking child workers from Pennsylvania textile mills on a 125-mile march to President Theodore Roosevelt’s summer home.
Mother Jones had no fixed address; instead, she went, as she put it, wherever “there is a fight against wrong.”