Monday, March 21, 2016

Free Tom Mooney! A Yale Law Exhibit

[We’re moving this post up, because we’ve learned via H-Law of an exhibit talk by exhibition co-curator Lorne Bair: “A Martyr to the Cause: The Mooney Trial, the Communist Party, and the Pleasures of Propaganda”" at noon on Thursday, March 24, in Room 129 of the Sterling Law Building, Yale Law School (127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT.]

[Via H-Law, we have word of a new exhibit at the Yale Law Library, Free Tom Mooney!]

Credit: Yale Law Library Blog
A hundred years ago, a bomb explosion was the pretext that San Francisco authorities needed to prosecute the militant left-wing labor organizer Tom Mooney on trumped-up murder charges. Mooney’s false conviction set off a 22-year campaign for his exoneration. The Yale Law Library, with a collection of over 150 items on the Mooney case, has mounted an exhibition marking the centennial of Mooney’s arrest.

“Free Tom Mooney! The Yale Law Library’s Tom Mooney Collection” is on display through May 27. The exhibition was curated by Lorne Bair and Hélène Golay of Lorne Bair Rare Books, and Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian at the Yale Law Library.

The campaign to free Tom Mooney created an enormous number of print and visual materials, including legal briefs, books, pamphlets, movies, flyers, stamps, poetry, and music. It enlisted the support of such figures as James Cagney, Theodore Dreiser, Upton Sinclair, and George Bernard Shaw. It made Mooney, for a brief time, one of the world’s most famous Americans. The Law Library’s collection is a rich resource for studying the Mooney case, the American Left in the interwar years, and the emergence of modern media campaigns.

The exhibition is on display February 1 - May 27, 2016, in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, located on Level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School (127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT). Images of many of the exhibit items can be viewed in the Law Library’s Flickr site.

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