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.
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.
1 half-box and 1 oversize
1 linear foot
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.
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.