Missoula in Missoula County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
Free Speech Corner
In autumn 1909, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organizers Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Jack Jones arrived in Missoula, soon followed by there comrade Frank Little. After renting space for a union hall, they took to the streets, determined to spread "the glad tidings of a great revolutionary union" to Missoula's working class. From this corner, they demanded union hiring halls for timber workers while preaching the destruction of capitalism, worker control of production and workplace-centered democracy. On September 28, 1909, the police arrested Little and Jones for violating Missoula's long-ignored ban of public speaking. Flynn immediately put out a call for additional speakers. Her goal was to fill the Missoula jail and cost the city so much money and trouble that it would agree to allow the IWW to continue organizing. During the next week, over seventy IWW speakers were arrested, including the pregnant Flynn. On October 8, faced with overflowing jails, increasing expenses, and a growing public relations nightmare, the city council capitulated. The IWW had secured its right to speak, a lasting victory for the First Amendment.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
1. Free Speech Corner Marker
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Historical Markers marker series.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
2. Free Speech Corner Marker
Location. 46° 52.218′ N, 113° 59.73′ W. Marker is in Missoula, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Higgins Avenue and West Front Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 North Higgins Avenue, Missoula MT 59802, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Danger Ahead! (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Name That River (about 600 feet away); A Shortcut (about 600 feet away); Northwest Passage (about 600 feet away); Fort Missoula (approx. 3˝ miles away); Fort Missoula, Montana (approx. 3˝ miles away); Fort Missoula Post Headquarters (approx. 3.6 miles away); T-1 Post Headquarters (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Missoula.
Also see . . .
1. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn -- Spartacus Educational. Converted by her parents to socialism, she was only 16 when she gave her first speech, What Socialism Will Do for Women , at the Socialist Club in Harlem. As a result of her political activities, Flynn was expelled from high school. (Submitted on September 16, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
2. Frank Little -- Spartacus Educational.
Little joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1906 and took part in the free speech campaigns in Missoula, Fresno and Spokane and was involved in organizing lumberjacks, metal miners and oil field workers into trade unions... In the summer of 1917, Little was helping organize workers in the metal mines of Montana. This included leading a strike of miners working for the Anaconda Company. In the early hours of 1st August, 1917, six masked men broke into Little's hotel room in Butte. He was beaten up, tied by the rope to a car, and dragged out of town, where he was lynched.
3. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
(Submitted on September 16, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Civil Rights • Labor Unions • Women •
4. Frank Little
5. Copper Trust to the Press: "It's all right, pal; just tell them he was a traitor." Solidarity (11th
Solidarity (11th August, 1917)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 16, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.