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Folklore: Utah Phillips story

Mike Felten 03 Jul 12 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,999 03 Jul 12 - 10:59 PM
Neil D 04 Jul 12 - 01:41 AM
Neil D 04 Jul 12 - 01:44 AM
Amos 04 Jul 12 - 04:55 AM
Mike Felten 04 Jul 12 - 02:52 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Utah Phillips story
From: Mike Felten
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 10:41 PM

Heard a Phillips story about an executed wob who had his ashes shipped to the Chicago office. When the office was raided the ashes were never returned. Thus the unfortunate wob is still in the custody of the Chicago police. Thought this was Bill Heywood, but it appears not to be the case. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Utah Phillips story
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 10:59 PM

Ask Kendall or Mark Ross.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Utah Phillips story
From: Neil D
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 01:41 AM

This is from the wikipedia article about Joe Hill.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Utah Phillips story
From: Neil D
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 01:44 AM

Hill's body was sent to Chicago where it was cremated. His ashes were placed into 600 small envelopes and according to Wobbly folklore, sent around the world and released to the winds on May Day 1916. However it was not until the first anniversary of his death (November 19, 1916) that delegates attending the Tenth Convention of the IWW in Chicago received envelopes.[17] The rest of the 600 envelopes were sent to IWW locals, Wobblies and sympathizers around the world on January 3, 1917.[18]

In 1988 it was discovered that an envelope had been seized by the United States Postal Service in 1917 because of its "subversive potential". The envelope, with a photo affixed, captioned, "Joe Hill murdered by the capitalist class, Nov. 19, 1915," as well as its contents, was deposited at the National Archives. A story appeared in the United Auto Workers' magazine Solidarity and a small item followed it in The New Yorker Magazine. Members of the IWW in Chicago quickly laid claim to the contents of the envelope.

After some negotiations, the last of Hill's ashes (but not the envelope that contained them) was turned over to the IWW in 1988. The weekly In These Times ran notice of the ashes and invited readers to suggest what should be done with them. Suggestions varied from enshrining them at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC to Abbie Hoffman's suggestion that they be eaten by today's "Joe Hills" like Billy Bragg and Michelle Shocked. Bragg did indeed swallow a small bit of the ashes and still carries Shocked's share for the eventual completion of Hoffman's last prank.[19] The majority of the ashes were cast to the wind in the US, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and Nicaragua. The ashes sent to Sweden were only partly cast to the wind. The main part was interred in the wall of a union office in Landskrona, a minor city in the south of the country, with a plaque commemorating Hill. That room is now the reading room of the local city library.
Joe Hill's Wake, Michigan, November 1990

One small packet of ashes was scattered at a 1989 ceremony which unveiled a monument to six unarmed IWW coal miners buried in Lafayette, Colorado, who had been machine-gunned by Colorado state police in 1927 in the Columbine Mine Massacre. Until 1989 the graves of five of these men were unmarked. Another famous Wobbly, Carlos Cortez, scattered Joe Hill's ashes on the graves at the commemoration.[20]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Utah Phillips story
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 04:55 AM

Wow, A terrific answer!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Utah Phillips story
From: Mike Felten
Date: 04 Jul 12 - 02:52 PM

Thanks. I'll be able to pass this story on. Appreciate all you Mudcats!


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