Cork Celebrates Mother Jones

Festival recalls native daughter who became legendary American labor activist

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Back on the ould sod, Cork is once again staking her claim to famous mineworker advocate Mary Harris, aka “Mother Jones.” Americans know her social justice crusader as the dressmaker-turned-agitator who organized colorful demonstrations by the wives of striking miners, with the authorities labeling her “the most dangerous woman in America” and “the grandmother of all agitators.” It’s said that she retorted, “I hope to live long enough to be the great-grandmother of all agitators.” (Indeed, she died in 1930 at the age of 100.)

Jones is honored in her hometown in an annual festival. New to me: when Jones was six, Cork famously hosted another American labor hero. In 1845, abolitionist leader (and escaped slave) Frederick Douglass spent the better part of a month in Cork campaigning against the slave trade. For more information, visit the Cork Mother Jones Festival website.