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Tom Mooney Molders' Defense Committee Collection, 1917-1942
MSS 055  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists primarily of pamphlets, posters and other printed materials created or collected by the Tom Mooney Molders Defense Committee, in their work to free Tom Mooney, a labor activist wrongfully convicted of bombing the 1916 Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco. There are also a small number of documents pertaining to Tom Mooney and his estate.
Background
The Tom Mooney Molders' Defense Committee was founded to raise money and work for the release and pardon of Thomas J. Mooney, a member of the International Molders' Union, charged and convicted of bombing the 1916 Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco, July 22, 1916. The Parade had been organized by a right-wing, pro-war group, and was also being used to champion the anti-union, "open shop" system. Pro-union, pro-German and pro-Mexican groups and individuals protested the holding of the parade. Mooney had been spearheading an attempt to unionize the San Francisco street car lines, which were controlled by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company and other utility interests. Mooney and fellow defendant Warren Billings, both labor union activists, were tried for murder and convicted on the basis of the testimony of several contradictory witnesses. Mooney's wife, Rena Mooney, who was described by the same witnesses, was found innocent. Billings was sentenced to life in prison and Mooney was sentenced to death in 1917; the sentence was commuted to life after the intercession of President Woodrow Wilson in 1918. Wilson had tried to get Mooney and Billings new trials after it became clear that Frank C. Oxman's testimony was perjured. Oxman was not even in San Francisco at the time of the bombing. Eventually all the witnesses' testimony was disproved.
Extent
1 half-box and 1 oversize box

1 linear foot
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.