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Mother Jones

  • By: Lori Walls
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mother Jones was born Mary Harris in Cork, Ireland, on August 1, 1837. After adopting the name Mother Jones, Mary changed her birth date to May 1, 1830. It is believed that she added the extra seven years to her age for a number of reasons: to reflect a more “grandmotherly” image for political reasons; to adopt of the date of the anniversary of the Hay-market Square Strike, which was notorious for the workers who were executed when attempting to institute an eight-hour workday; and in solidarity with the then national labor holiday.

Mother Jones was best known in the labor movement as an organizer, agitator, and educator, as well as for her involvement in hundreds of strikes spanning 50 years and touching all American states. ...

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