Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pie in the Sky

This Day in History: July 18, 1914

Phrases come and go dependent upon the times and circumstances which bring them about. "Pie in the Sky" is an American phrase dating back to 1911, which was coined by labor activist Joe Hill in an early 20th century folk song, The Preacher and The Slave. The song written by Hill is a satiric attack on the Salvation Army whose preachers Hill decried for lulling workers into complacency.

It wasn't until World War II when the phrase began to be used figuratively. These were dire times so it referred to any prospect of future happiness which was unlikely ever to be realized in most people's eyes. In November 1939, the California newspaper The Fresno Bee, published...
The business world is fearful that Roosevelt's obsession with war problems will mean a continued neglect of questions which still restrict trade and profits. They are highly skeptical of Washington's promise that they will 'eat pie in the sky' solely from war orders, which they decry publicly.
But, that is not all you need to know about Joe Hill nor is it the topic of this day in history...

A Swedish immigrant born Joel Emmanuel Haggland, Hill is perhaps most famous for the sensational circumstances surrounding his death. He was found guilty of murdering a Salt Lake City shopkeeper and sentenced to death on July 18, 1914 and executed by firing squad the following year. The Wobblies (International Workers of the World - IWW) believed the charges were trumped up as payback for Hill's musical activism. 

Ever since, scholars have debated whether Hill was actually guilty or was railroaded because of his radical politics. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, Hill became a powerful martyr for the IWW cause by telegramming his comrades with a famous last-minute message: "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize." Source: This Day in History