Union Organizers

Two of the most outspoken supporters of Joe Hill during the months leading to his execution were Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and William D. "Big Bill" Haywood.

Flynn was a fiery orator and determined organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, who met Hill after his murder conviction. Flynn and Hill developed a deep, though short-lived, relationship through the exchange of numerous letters while he was on death row. Haywood, born in the mining camp of Bingham, Utah, urged Hill to appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hill told Haywood not to waste the money. On the eve of his execution, Hill telegraphed Haywood a goodbye message, urging him to move on: "Don't waste time mourning -- Organize!"

William "Big Bill" Haywood

and the Radical Labor Movement

William D. Haywood is widely considered one of the foremost and most feared of America's labor leaders. Tall and gruff, "Big" Bill was a fiery speaker, powerful organizer and uninhibited critic of government and big business.

Haywood was born in Salt Lake City in 1869, the year the transcontinental railroad was linked in Utah at Promontory Summit. Brigham Young was still serving as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when Haywood was born in Bingham Canyon, the son of a former Pony Express rider. At the age of nine Haywood punctured his right eye in a whittling accident. For the rest of his life, Haywood would offer his left profile to photographers in an effort to hide his blind eye.

Before his tenth birthday Haywood had left school and entered the mines to help support his family.

While working in a silver mine in northern Idaho in 1896, Haywood was exposed to the unionizing efforts of the Western Federation of Miners. After a meeting with WFM organizer Ed Boyce, Haywood threw himself into union membership and activities. Within a few years he was serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the WFM, and traveling throughout the West as a union organizer. Because of increasing conflicts between miners and mine owners, Haywood often traveled secretly through embattled mining camps to avoid arrest.

At the turn of the twentieth century Haywood and the Western Federation of Miners campaigned for eight hour working days for underground miners. Most mining camps required underground workers to log ten hours on the job each day, not counting transportation time up and down the mine shafts, and to work thirteen out of fourteen days. Because of the WFM efforts, Utah became the first state in the nation to enact an eight hour work day for miners.

By 1902 Haywood joined with Charles Moyer to form the leadership of the Western Federation of Miners. It was an uneasy partnership from the outset. Moyer was cautious by nature, and generally believed in negotiation rather than conflict. Haywood urged strikes and confrontation as the most practical path to forcing company officials to treat workers fairly. The emergence of Moyer and Haywood coincided with violent clashes in the mine fields of the West. Dozens died in showdowns between striking miners and company owners in Colorado, culminating the bombing of a train carrying non-union miners near Independence in 1904. Thirteen people died in the attack, and company officials were quick to tie the bombing to the fiery rhetoric of Big Bill Haywood. No charges were ever filed.

Haywood skyrocketed to national notoriety in 1906. The publicity would cement his infamy in the eyes of some, his celebrity in the eyes of others.

Shortly after Christmas in 1905, former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg was returning to his home in Caldwell after a day in his nearby office. As he opened his garden gate a bomb exploded, shattering the forty-four year old Steunenberg's body. He died within hours.

Local police quickly arrested a suspicious figure staying in a Caldwell hotel. He eventually was identified as Harry Orchard. Under grueling questioning by law enforcement and Pinkerton private detectives, Orchard confessed to being an assassin hired by the Western Federation of Miners. He identified dozens of victims, including the non-union miners killed in the Independence, Colorado train bombing of 1904. Orchard claimed the murder of Frank Steunenberg had been ordered by WFM President Charles Moyer, former board member George Pettibone, and union Secretary-Treasurer Bill Haywood.

Pinkerton detectives executed a secret raid and arrested Moyer, Pettibone and Haywood in Denver, Colorado. Foregoing any attempts at formally extraditing the men, the Pinkertons in effect kidnaped the suspects and hurried them on to a private train that raced through the night, delivering them to Boise for trial. On their arrival, the chief Pinkerton detective announced the men "would never leave Idaho alive."

Haywood appealed his arrest, claiming it was nothing short of kidnaping. As the case wound its way through the court system, he busied himself in the Idaho Penitentiary by taking a correspondence course in criminal law and running for Governor of Colorado on the Socialist ticket. When a decision was finally handed down, the United States Supreme Court decried the abduction of the suspects but ruled that the arrests should stand. In Idaho, prosecutors decided to try the defendants individually, with Big Bill Haywood as the first test case. Haywood went to trial in Boise in the summer of 1907 on a charge of conspiring to murder Frank Steunenberg. Prosecutors said their only goal was the death penalty.

From the outset the court drama was billed "the trial of the century." Dozens of reporters packed the tiny courtroom on a daily basis. Much of the attraction was focused on the attorneys in the case. Wiiliam Borah, recently confirmed to sit as a United States Senator from Idaho and a close personal friend of Frank Steunenberg, led the prosecution team. Clarence Darrow, perhaps the nation's best known defense attorney, agreed to defend Haywood. Darrow's fee was paid by hundreds of small donations from union members around the nation.

Despite weeks of testimony, the trial turned on the confession of Harry Orchard. On the stand Orchard recounted in detail his arrangement with the Western Federation of Miners, and repeatedly identified Haywood as the force behind the violence. Under cross-examination, Darrow emphasized Orchard's criminal history, the absence of any evidence to back-up his story, and Orchard's negotiations with Pinkerton detectives to spare Orchard from execution.

Darrow's defense turned on depicting Haywood as the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy concocted by mine owners who wanted to silence Haywood's radical voice in support of miners. On the stand, Haywood firmly denied Orchard's story, asserted his innocence, and recounted stories of how his union activities had been targeted by mine owners and the government.

After painfully long closing arguments that stretched the endurance of jurors, judge and audience alike in the blazing summer heat, the case went to the jury on the afternoon of July 28, 1907. By midnight there were rumors that the jury had voted 11-to-1 to convict Haywood, and that the last holdout would soon change sides. The Idaho Statesman prepared a headline announcing Haywood's conviction.

The next morning the jury filed back into the courtroom. The foreman passed the verdict to court clerk Otto Peterson, who read the note aloud. "We, the jury in the above entitled case, find the defendant William D. Haywood. . .not guilty."

Despite complaints that the trial had been rigged, either through bribes or death threats from the Western Federation of Miners, Bill Haywood walked out of the Boise courtroom a free man.

But the long months of the trial had taken a toll on the leadership of the WFM. Haywood and Moyer argued repeatedly during their months in the Idaho penitentiary. Haywood was becoming more militant in his approach to labor conflicts, and Moyer was convinced that compromise and negotiation were the most effective tools for workers to use in dealing with the system. Haywood's demands for actions clashed head-on with Moyer's demands for patience, and in 1908 Haywood left the Western Federation of Miners.

Looking for a new, aggressive organization Haywood threw his energies behind the Industrial Workers of the World. Vowing in its preamble that the working class had nothing in common with capitalists, the IWW represented the most radical labor organization of its day. The group sought to organize the most recent immigrants and the most unskilled workers into the IWW to give them a voice in the workplace. Nicknamed "wobblies," the group also advocated sabotage or "direct action" against employers who refused to recognize the IWW unionizing efforts. By 1915 Big Bill Haywood was head of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Haywood was at the center of a string of dramatic labor conflicts that shook the nation in the years leading to America's entry into World War One. He was an atheist, and his blunt and caustic public comments on Christianity and the Bible made him a target of clerics throughout the nation. His speeches in support of IWW songwriter Joe Hill claimed vast conspiracies of government and industry to destroy the rights of workers, but did nothing to stop the execution of Hill for murder in Utah in 1915. Haywood encouraged numerous strikes throughout the nation, and forged an image of the IWW as a group that would use any means at its disposal to change a system it despised. At its peak, the group had more than three million members.

Haywood was an outspoken critic of America's entry into World War One, claiming it was an invention of capitalists to make business rich, and that young men on all sides would be sacrificed to powerful elites. He urged workers to resist joining the army and to slow down their work in defense industries. In 1918 Haywood was convicted of violating federal espionage and sedition laws when he called for a strike during wartime. He briefly went to a federal prison, but was released on bail as his case was appealed. He seized the opportunity to flee the country, and made his way to join the bolshevik revolution in Russia.

While journalist John Reed (Ten Days That Shook The World) is often recognized as an American playing a role in the revolution that resulted in the Soviet Union, Big Bill Haywood arguably had a more significant presence among the leaders of the new government. Cited as a "trusted advisor," Haywood was often used by the bolshevik government as a spokesperson for the advancements in worker opportunity claimed by Marxist theorists like Vladimir Lenin.

Plagued by ill health, Haywood quickly faded from prominence in Moscow. Several historians have claimed that Haywood ultimately rejected the "worker's paradise" of the Soviet Union, viewing it as an abusive police state that provided few true benefits for the peasants. He died in 1928. Half of his ashes were ceremoniously buried in a wall of honor at the Kremlin, next to the remains of John Reed. The remainder were quietly returned to the United States and buried in Chicago, near a monument to American workers.

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

"The Rebel Girl"

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn may have died in 1964, but her life is ever vivid and current. A biography, "Iron in Her Soul" by Helen C. Camp was recently published and requests for permission to quote her in books and essays still come in weekly to the Communist Party.

As early as age 5, Flynn already had the "indelible impression" of working class life and poverty where they lived in Manchester, N.H., "where the great mills stretched like prisons along the bank of the Merrimac River."

Her family moved to the Bronx, N.Y. at the turn of the century. She loved the city and the school, especially the upper grades where she studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights which, she said, "I have been defending ever since."

Her family was an active socialist family. She vividly remembered the Sunday night gatherings at the Harlem Socialist Club at 250 W. 125th Street. It was here that Flynn, aged 15, made her first public speech. The topic was "Women Under Socialism."

She frequently went to Union Square with her father, an organizer for the newly-formed Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). She would speak there, attracting the attention of the press. The author Theodore Dreiser, then working as a journalist, wrote of her as "an East Side Joan of Arc."

She joined the IWW in 1906 at 16. Of the IWW Flynn wrote, "It blazed a trail like a great comet across the American labor scene from 1905 to 1920." She was assigned to IWW Local 179. Her first experience as an IWW speaker took place in Brandywine Park in Schenectady, N.Y. at a meeting protesting the arrest of "Wobblies" Bill Haywood and George Pettibone.

She attended her first IWW Convention as a delegate from Local 177 in Chicago in 1907 while still in high school and met Lucy Parson, widow of Albert Parson, who had been executed 20 years before, a martyr of the struggle for the eight-hour day.

At the convention she also met J. A. Jones, organizer of the Minnesota IWW, who invited her to come on a speaking tour to the Mesabi Iron Range north of Duluth where he was an organizer for the Western Federation of Miners. She went on to Butte, and later to Kalispell, Montana where the IWW was leading a lumber strike.

Gurley's first real participation in the IWW free speech fight and second arrest occurred in Missoula, Mont. in the fall of 1908. The city council had passed an ordinance making street speech unlawful. The IWW decided to defy this ordinance as unconstitutional, a violation of the First Amendment. Speaker after speaker was arrested, including Flynn. She participated in 26 such battles between 1909 and 1916 and emerged as an eloquent speaker.

1912 brought the Lawrence, Mass. mill strike: 14,000 people went out and the mills remained empty for three months. The strikers spoke in 25 different languages and 45 different dialects. With the arrest of the original leaders, Gurley and Haywood were brought into the strike. They addressed 10 meetings a day.

Police brutality and hunger forced the strike committee to send their children out of town to sympathizers who volunteered to take them for the duration of the strike. Gurley was in charge of the evacuation of the children. On Feb. 22 the police arrested the children at the train station. The local authorities, infuriated by the favorable publicity of the strikers, decided no more children would leave town.

On Feb. 24 Flynn tried to put another 40 children on a train for Philadelphia. The police, with clubs drawn, attacked the group, arresting 15 parents and children, and sent 10 terrified children to the Lawrence Poor Farm. The newspapers headlined the situation and the publicity forced Congress to investigate the conditions in the shops. The strike was won by mid-March with wage increases from 5 to 25 percent, with the largest increases going to the lowest paid workers.

On March 3, 1913, 25,000 silk workers in Paterson, N.J. struck. Over 1,000 strikers were arrested. It became a bloody confrontation between the strikers and the hired thugs, police and judges.

Picketing and outdoor meetings were forbidden. Picketers arrested were automatically sentenced to three months in jail. The nearest meeting place was Haledon, a neighboring suburb whose mayor was a socialist. There Flynn spoke to the mass meetings.

On June 7, the strikers gave a propaganda pageant for the Paterson strike, in Madison Square Garden in New York City, orchestrated by John Reed. It was a theatrical success, but financially a failure because of the expense of the Garden, transportation and publicity. The treasury was zero and the strikers - starved into submission - slowly drifted back into the shops. By Aug. 1 the strike was officially ended. The IWW suffered a setback in Paterson and never completely recovered.

In the spring of 1915, Hill was visited in his cell by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Flynn came away from the meeting as Hill's new champion: "He is tall, good looking, but naturally thin after sixteen months in a dark and narrow cell with another row of cells between him and daylight. Joe Hill had nothing to say about his case or himself. He only said, 'I'm not afraid of death, but I'd like to be in the fight a little longer.' Can we afford to give up our Joe Hill without a struggle?"

Hill immediately composed a song in honor of Flynn. . .a sentimental tune that championed the women of the I.W.W. He titled it "The Rebel Girl."

At the end of World War I the government organized an all- out attack against workers, a reaction to the Russian Revolution and a near uprising of workers in the United States. Nearly a million workers were on strike, including the Seattle General Strike, an industry-wide strike of 365,000 steel workers led by William Z. Foster, 400,000 miners out, 200,000 railroad workers and the Boston Police Strike. During this time the Communist Party was formed.

To halt this upsurge the government launched an all-out attack on labor. The agents of U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and his assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, invaded homes and meetings, arresting over 10,000 men and women in a single night. Hundreds were deported, thousands imprisoned for opposition to the war.

Two Italian anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolemeo Vanzetti, were arrested and accused of murder. Flynn was one of the first to investigate the case, which became the most famous labor defense fight in history. For the next seven years, Communists helped lead the fightback against the case, which sparked protests worldwide. Despite the outcry, however, the two men were executed.

The International Labor Defense was organized in June of 1925 and Flynn became chairperson in 1926. It existed for over 15 years and was succeeded by the Civil Rights Congress, in which Flynn was also active.

Flynn joined the Communist Party in 1936. In 1937 she made her first speech as a Communist at Madison Square Garden. She wrote a biweekly column for the Daily Worker and served as chair of the women's commission for 10 years.

In 1942 Flynn ran for Congress at large in New York and received 50,000 votes. Her program was geared especially toward women, millions of whom had been drawn into factories and offices during the war. She believed that African American women were the most discriminated against, super- exploited workers in spite of the Fair Employment Protection Act. The Ford Motor Co. would not even accept applications from African American women until militant demonstrations forced an end to this discrimination.

In July 1948 12 leaders of the CPUSA were arrested under the infamous anti-Communist witchhunt, falsely accused of advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government by force and violence. Flynn launched a mass defense campaign for the release of the 11. In June 1951 at the height of the McCarthy period, Flynn was arrested in the second wave of arrests. Between the time of her sentencing and her actual imprisonment, Flynn ran for Congress from the Bronx on the Communist Party ticket under the slogan of "Vote No! to McCarthyism." For Peace and Jobs! Amnesty for all." She received 4,000 votes. On Jan. 24, 1951, Flynn, Claudia Jones and Betty Gannett were incarcerated in Alderson Women's Federal Prison in West Virginia.

On her return from prison Flynn ran for city council with the slogan of "Clean Jim Crow out of New York" and for full equality for women. In 1961 Flynn was elected CPUSA national chairperson, a post she held until her death.

In January 1962 the State Department revoked the passports of five well-known Communists, including Flynn who had just returned from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's 22nd Congress. She protested that "to set up classes of citizens who can't leave the country due to political beliefs is unconstitutional and a violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948. When the test case reached the court in 1964 the justices agreed with her. They ruled Section 6 of the McCarran Act unconstitutional.

In August 1964, after the McCarran Act was struck down, Flynn went to the USSR representing the CPUSA at an international Party Congress. She hoped to write her autobiography there. Instead she was hospitalized for a stomach disorder and died on Sept. 5.

She was honored with a state funeral in Red Square. Her body lay in state in the Hall of Columns of the Soviet Trade Unions. For eight hours a column of mourners, six abreast, filed past. Wreaths from workers' organizations and trade unions from the vast Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Communist parties around the globe adorned the casket.

The New York Times gave this story front page coverage, quoting a May Day speech in which Flynn said "I believe in a socialist America. What a May Day that will be to celebrate. Hail to it."

In accordance with her wishes, Flynn's remains were flown to the U.S. for burial in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery, near the grave of Eugene Dennis, Big Bill Hayood and the Haymarket martyrs.

(Courtesy of People's Weekly World)

Mother Jones

"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!"

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones lost her husband and four children to yellow fever, then all of her personal belongings in the great Chicago fire.

She then adopted American working people as her family. Mother Jones fought for better working conditions for miners, tradesmen and women, and to reform child labor laws.

A dramatic speaker who commanded much attention, she helped in the 1877 Pittsburgh railway strike; during the 1880s she organized and ran educational meetings. She was an organizer for the United Mine Workers, helped found the Social Democratic Party in 1898, was a lecturer for the Socialist Party of America, and aided in the formation of the Industrial Workers of the World.

During a strike in West Virginia, she was arrested during a protest, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Her ordeal was not without its positive outcome--the U.S. Senate ordered a committee to investigate conditions in the West Virginia coalfields, and she was set free by the governor.

In her eighties, Mother Jones brought a packed house in Trinidad, Colorado's West theatre to its feet. "Rise up and strike. . .strike until the last one of you drop into your graves. We are going to stand together and never surrender. Boys, always remember you ain't got a damn thing if you ain't got a union!"

Mother Jones lived 100 years. She is buried in the Union Miners Cemetery at Mount Olive, Illinois.

Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompers emigrated in 1863 to New York, where he followed his father's trade of cigar making and became a naturalized citizen in 1872. As a labour leader, Gompers gained a worldwide reputation for conservatism. In a period when the U.S. was bitterly hostile to labour organizations, he evolved the principles of "voluntarism," which stressed that unions should exert coercion by economic actions, i.e., strikes and boycotts.

In 1886 Gompers led the national organization of cigar makers from the Knights of Labor to form the American Federation of Labor (AFL), of which he was president from 1886 to 1924 (except for one year, 1895). He distrusted the influence of intellectual reformers, fearing any activity which would divert labour's energy from economic goals. To make unionism respectable as a bulwark against radicalism and irresponsible strikes, he encouraged binding, written trade agreements and advocated the primacy of national organizations over both local unions and international affiliations.

Gompers kept the AFL politically neutral until pressed by employer tactics, including an open-shop drive, and by federal court injunctions which greatly weakened labour's economic weapons, the strike, picket line, and boycott. Even in the lowest paying jobs, the influx of immigrants to the American workforce was deeply resented. The resentment extended to self-described champions of the working man, such as Samuel Gompers, the leader of the American Federation of Labor.

"Both the intelligence and the prosperity of our working people are endangered by the present immigration. Cheap labor... ignorant labor...takes our jobs and cuts our wages."

Samuel Gompers was one of many who made a plea on behalf of Joe Hill. On the evening of November 16th, Wilson's special political assistant, Joseph Tumulty received a telegram from Gompers.

"May I not prevail upon you to exercise your great influence to at least help in saving the life of Joseph Hillstrom, when there is so much doubt concerning his case?"

While far from the political power it would one day achieve, the AFL represented organized workers spanning America. The AFL was too large of a voting block to ignore. On the morning of November 17th, Tumulty dashed off a return telegram to Gompers.

"The president has received your telegram, and has this morning telegraphed the governor of Utah urging the justice and advisability of a thorough reconsideration of the case."

Gompers received word even before the telegram was sent to Governor Spry.

President Woodrow Wilson

Presidential Intervention

Under pressure from national celebrities, organized labor and thousands of individuals, President Woodrow Wilson acted against his better instincts on November 17, 1915 by staging a second attempt to block the execution of Joe Hill by the State of Utah. Wilson's first intervention had brought a brief stay of execution for Hill, and a wave of newspaper criticism of Wilson for his "meddling in a state's affair." This telegram to Governor William Spry clearly shows Wilson approaching the subject hat in hand.

"The White House, Washington.
November 17, 1915.

Hon. William Spry,
Salt Lake City, Utah.

With unaffected hesitation but with a very earnest conviction of the importance of the case, I again venture to urge upon your Excellency the justice and advisability, if it be possible, of a thorough reconsideration of the case of Joseph Hillstrom.

Woodrow Wilson

Official"

Another Call for Presidential Intervention

While Governor William Spry of Utah was besieged with demands to stop the execution of Joe Hill, President Woodrow Wilson was receiving similar pleas from throughout the nation. Many of the more astute correspondents selected a "political back door" to Wilson through the President's personal assistant, Joseph Tumulty. Tumulty was a shrewd politician committed to engineering a successful re-election campaign for Wilson in 1916.

One aspect of his strategy was to pull together the small but potentially pivotal vote of organized labor. Tumulty offered a sympathetic ear to labor leaders seeking to save Joe Hill's life. In this telegram, Hill's attorney Orrin N. Hilton of Denver, a noted defender of labor figures, pleads with Tumulty to convince the President that Hill's looming execution is "judicial murder."

Wilson Ends Involvement

It the urging of Swedish Minister Ekengren, President Woodrow Wilson asked the Governor of Utah to block the planned execution of Joe Hill. Governor William Spry was furious, but agreed to postpone the execution as a courtesy to the President. The stipulation was that Ekengren produce new evidence immediately to cast doubt upon Hill's conviction for murder.

When Ekengren failed to produce evidence, Hill's death sentence was re instated. Under pressure from the Swedish government, the U.S. State Department advised the President of the looming execution. Wilson, astonished by Spry's criticism of Wilson's action and the negative press reaction to his intervention, scribbled a response on the bottom of the memo: "I do not feel that I can do more than I have. Even that was apparently resented." -- W.W.

Governor William Spry

A Call to Produce New Evidence

Utah Governor William Spry was under a barrage of telegrams protesting the death sentence of Joe Hill in the fall of 1915. Convinced that Hill was rightfully convicted, and equally certain the telegrams were prompted by radical labor agitators who were not telling the truth about Hill's guilt, Spry convened the State Board of Pardons on September 28, 1915 to hear any evidence that might question the legitimacy of Hill's conviction.

Not leaving the event to chance, Spry issued this modified summons to several of Hill's outspoken defenders. The challenge, in effect, was to present the evidence or hold your tongue. The confrontational meeting failed on both counts. No new evidence was introduced to cast doubt upon Hill's conviction, and the stream of angry telegrams aimed at Spry did not diminish.

An Angry Governor

When Governor William Spry received the telegram from Woodrow Wilson on November 17, 1915, requesting a second stay of execution for Joe Hill, the mild-mannered, second term Utah politician exploded in rage. In a lengthy, heated reply, Spry, in effect, told Woodrow Wilson that the President had been duped by radicals and should keep his uninformed nose out of Utah's business. In this conclusion to the telegram, Spry bluntly tells Wilson that "I cannot and will not lend myself or my office to such interference." By the time the telegram was received at the White House, Joe Hill was within thirty-six hours of facing a firing squad.

Hellen Keller

The case of Joe Hill attracted more than its share of celebrity voices seeking to block the execution. Helen Keller, in 1915 a recognized national heroine for her triumph over multiple disabilities, dispatched this heartfelt plea to President Woodrow Wilson just days before Hill's rescheduled execution. Her life movingly portrayed in books, theater and, eventually, film, Keller was an outspoken critic of the nation's economic and working conditions.

Woodrow Wilson quickly told Keller that there was nothing more he could do for Joe Hill, but subsequent pressure from organized labor convinced Wilson to attempt a second intervention to block the execution at the eleventh hour.


TELEGRAM

The White House,
Washington.

10 Wrentham, Mass., November 16, 1915

THE PRESIDENT.
Your excellency: I believe that Joseph Hillstrom has not had a fair trial and the sentence passed upon him is unjust. I appeal to you as official father of all the people to use your great power and influence to save one of the nation's helpless sons, the stay of execution will give time to investigate new trail will give the man justice to which the laws of the land entitle him.

Hellen Keller.

Our Sponsor

Tonight in Primetime

Join Us On Social Media

KUED on Facebook KUED on Twitter KUED on Instagram
Find out more about KUED Passport and membership.
Learn about Volunteering at KUED.
PBS is the most trusted media source in America.