Guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Photographs, 1895-1967

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Guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Photographs, 1895-1967

1895-1967

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was a leading Irish-American Communist, feminist, labor organizer, orator, and campaigner for civil liberties. While barely in her twenties, she became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and a leader of some of its most famous strikes. She was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and also worked to try to save the celebrated imprisoned anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti from execution. In 1936, she joined the Communist Part of the United States (CPUSA), in short order becoming a member of its Central Committee, and later of its Political Bureau, and finally Chair, in 1961-1964. During these years she wrote a bi-weekly column "Life of the Party" for the Party's newspaper, the , wrote an autobiography, ran for political office, and attended international conferences. In 1952, her leadership role with the CPUSA resulted in her trial under the Smith Act, and subsequently her conviction and incarceration in a Federal prison for 28 months. She died in Moscow in September, 1964. The approximately 239 photographs in this collection--almost exclusively black and white prints-span the 1890s to the 1960s. They document not only Flynn's public role as a revolutionary and spokesperson for labor and civil liberties, but also her private roles as mother, lover, and family member. Daily Worker

1.5 Linear Feet in three manuscript boxes.

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Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was an agitator and organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and a Communist Party (CP) official. Flynn was an organizer in major strikes in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Paterson and Passaic, New Jersey. She saw labor court trials as important extensions of organizing, and participated in trials in Missoula, Montana (1908), and Spokane, Washington (1909-1910). As part of her defense work she created the Workers’ Defense League, an organization to fight for th...

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