Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.
Thomas J. Mooney was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 8, 1882. His father was a coal miner and labor organizer who died at the age of 36. Mooney held many jobs as an industrial worker, toured Europe (where he learned about socialism), and eventually settled in San Francisco, where he married Rena Hermann and became known as a militant labor agitator. Mooney, his wife, his associate Warren K. Billings, and jitney driver Israel Weinberg were arrested after the July 22, 1916 bombing at the Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, Billings and Mooney were convicted for the bombing on what was later shown to be perjured testimony coached by San Francisco's District Attorney and Deputy District Attorney. Billings had been sentenced to life in prison, and Mooney's death sentence was commuted to life after the intervention of President Woodrow Wilson. Mooney became a martyr figure for the labor movement while incarcerated, but after his pardon by California Governor Culbert L. Olson in 1939 (and the release of Billings later that year), his importance waned. In ill health, Mooney died on March 6, 1942. Correspondence, pamphlets, and documents relating to Tom Mooney's conviction, incarceration, and his eventually successful attempts at a pardon. Mooney. Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library. California State Library, California History Room