Friday, April 6, 2012
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Thrown out of high school for her socialist politics, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn went on to be a labor leader and activist who played a major role in the Industrial Workers of the World. She helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union, a lawyers guild committed to the protection of the Constitutional rights of the individual U.S. citizen. Arrested multiple times, Flynn -- for whom folksinger Joe Hill wrote the song "Rebel Girl" -- fought for women to have access to birth control, day care, and equal pay to men, in addition to the vote.
Even after serving two years in federal prison for advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government, Flynn became the Chairperson of the American Communist Party in 1961 at the age of seventy! When she died several years later in the Soviet Union, more than 25,000 people attended Flynn's funeral before her body was flown back to the United States for burial. Even in death, an in-your-face woman may not sit still.