VIDEOS taken in Gillespie on May Day 2021 at the inauguration of the historical marker commemorating the founding of the Progressive Miners of America in Gillespie in 1932. The marker is sponsored by the Mythic Mississippi Project in collaboration with the Illinois State Historical Society, City of Gillespie, Grow Gillespie and the Illinois Coal Museum at Gillespie.
Video 1. Dave Tucker, Curator of the Illinois Coal Museum, opens the event.
Video 2. Dan Fisher, former mayor and current alderman, speaks about the importance of labor, unions and social justice.
Video 3. Dr. Helaine Silverman, Co-Director of the Mythic Mississippi Project, offers remarks.
Video 4. Joann Condellone honors the Women’s Auxiliary of the PMA with a history of their valuable contribution.
Video 5. Mother Jones grabs the stage and, standing on her box of dynamite, gives a rousing speech in defense of labor rights everywhere and with great affection for her beloved coal miners.
Video 6. Kelley Hatlee performs a historic coal miners song.
Video 7. Nick Krumwiede performs an original song celebrating the Battle of Virden.
Video 8. Solidarity Forever is sung to close the event.
OUR BLOODY PAST, telling the story of some of the southern Illinois coal towns with narration and song.
Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and the Lewis and Clark Expedition encounter with Native Americans (courtesy of Brandon Dillard, Chief of Site Interpretation, Monticello)