Joe Hill's Story
By Ken Verdoia
At sunrise on November 19, 1915 a firing squad took aim in the yard of the Utah State Penitentiary in Salt Lake City and put an end to the life of convicted murderer Joseph Hillstrom.
More than eight decades later, the death of the Swedish immigrant at the hands of state authorities is one of the few certainties involving one of the most controversial and fiercely debated lives in the history of American labor.
His name. . .his age. . .his importance to the movement he championed. . .his criminal guilt and
Young Joseph Hillstrom
even his legacy are all subject to endless argument and competing sentiment long after his death.
Any statement of certainty about the life of labor organizer/songwriter Joe Hill produces an instant sea of angry rebuttal.