Joe Hill (1879-1915)
Joe Hill, originally Joel Emmanuel Hagglund, b. Sweden, c.1879, d. Nov. 19, 1915, was an American labor organizer for the radical Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and a writer of union songs, such as "Casey Jones" and "The Union Scab." He became a martyr upon his execution by a Utah firing squad after having been convicted of murder. Efforts by President Woodrow Wilson, the government of Sweden, and many prominent Americans to get him a new trial had failed. On the eve of his execution, Hill telegraphed Big Bill Haywood, head of the IWW: "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize." This sentiment became the theme of the well-known song memorializing him, which begins "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night/Alive as you and me."
Bibliography: Smith, Gibbs M., Labor Martyr: Joe Hill (1972).
(Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc., 1995 Encyclopedia)