Fri March 12, 2010
Emphasis - March 12
Macomb, IL – Rich Egger's guest is Mike Matejka, who is vice president of the Illinois Labor History Society. They talk about the contributions of the Irish to American labor history.
Matejka talks about the legacy of Mary "Mother" Jones. Her rabble rousing on behalf of workers, especially coal miners, caused her to be coined the "most dangerous woman in America" in the early 20th Century.
He also says many presidents of AFL unions were Irish.
Matejka says Irish immigrants faced discrimination in the 1800s because of their religious beliefs. That changed as the Irish became politically active and used the organizing skills they gained in Ireland while contending with the British.
Matejka and Greg Koos, executive director of the McLean County Museum of History, will present the lecture "The Irish in American Labor History" on Tuesday, March 16, 7:00pm, at the Union Difference office in downtown Quincy.