St. Patrick's Day
"When good St
Paddy banished snakes he shook them from his garment
He never thought we'd go abroad to look upon such vermint
Nor quit this land where whiskey grew to wear the Yankee button
Take vinegar for mountain dew and toads for mountain mutton."
|In the spring
of 1918, Henry J. and his friends bore witness to another pivotal moment
in Butte history. A Butte Irish organization,
the Pearse-Connolly Club, had organized a parade to celebrate St.
Patrick’s Day scheduled for Sunday, March 17, 1918. The club named after Pádraig Pearse
and James Connolly, was thought by many to be connected with the
Socialist Party and the I.W.W. Consequently, the Mayor of Butte refused
a permit for the parade and issued an order “forbidding the parade,
and further, to make this order permanent during the period of the
present war, with the exception of strictly patriotic parades and
demonstrations.” Mayor Maloney also ordered the chief of police to use
whatever force necessary to make his order effective. At 4 o’clock
, the parade began and attracted thousands of spectators. Immediately,
police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and federal troops began to
arrest the marchers. Riots erupted throughout the neighborhood. The
crowd was moved-on by soldiers carrying loaded rifles fixed with
bayonets. At one point a mob burst out of a saloon and attacked a
soldier. When the crowd surged around him he fired a shot into the air
and began scattering them with his bayonet. Martial law prevailed until
the saloons were closed and the streets cleared. 54 men were arrested
for “plotting against the U.S. Government.” I.W.W
cards were found on five of the men arrested.
|According to news reports the AOH cancelled their participation
in the parade but had a "social and solemn observance of the
1918 the Federal Government amended the Espionage Act prohibiting
political strikes that interfered with the war effort. Congress approved
laws against enemy aliens authorizing the arrest and deportation of any
alien who was a member of the I.W.W. In order to root out subversion,
the FBI and U.S. military engaged in systematic spying
directed at the labor unions and political activities of Butte miners. The Company, of course, was
happy to assist in their endeavors.
the world welcomed 1919, the War was over but peace did not come to Butte. Declining demand for copper brought a
wage cut of $1 a day for Henry J. and his colleagues. Butte responded in the only way it knew how
– another strike! To break the strike the Governor called in the 44th
U.S. Infantry. February 10, 1919
was another bloody day in Butte as the soldiers bayonet nine strikers.
Enough was enough! Henry and
his compatriots had to leave Butte. In convoy, they managed to escape
Montana and sailed home on a troop
ship from the port
of San Francisco.