The Thomas J. Mooney Papers document the attempts to free and vindicate Thomas J. Mooney who was wrongfully convicted of bombing
the San Francisco Preparedness Day Parade of 1916. Although the collection does include personal papers of Mooney and his
wife Rena Mooney, the bulk of the collection consists of the records of the Tom Mooney Molder's Defense Committee (TMMDC),
an organization run by Mooney from his jail cell for the duration of his incarceration.
Mooney, Thomas Joseph (8 Dec. 1882-6 Mar. 1942), labor leader, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Bryan Mooney (also
called Bernard), a coal miner, and Mary Hefferon (or Heffernan). Mooney lived in Washington, Indiana, until he was ten, when
his father died. The family then moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts, where his mother found work in a paper mill as a ragsorter.
Mooney left school at fourteen for a job in a local factory and in 1898 entered the iron molding trade. He joined the molders'
union, a membership he maintained the rest of his life. With opportunities for employment scarce, he began traveling around
the country, doing whatever work he could find. In 1907 his journeys took him to Europe, and there he discovered socialism.
Returning home, he began drifting again, this time traveling as far west as Stockton, California. There he joined the Socialist
party, worked for the presidential campaign of Eugene V. Debs, and spent a winter in Chicago learning more about the party.
Number of containers: 70 cartons, 5 boxes, 25 oversize boxes, 16 oversize folders, 37 scrapbooks and 91 volumes
Linear feet: circa 120
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Collection is open for research.