50 Facts About Bill Haywood


William Dudley "Big Bill" Haywood was an American labor organizer and founding member and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World and a member of the executive committee of the Socialist Party of America.


Bill Haywood was an advocate of industrial unionism, a labor philosophy that favors organizing all workers in an industry under one union, regardless of the specific trade or skill level; this was in contrast to the craft unions that were prevalent at the time, such as the AFL.


Bill Haywood believed that workers of all ethnicities should be united, and favored direct action over political action.


Bill Haywood was often targeted by prosecutors due to his support for violence.


In 1921, while out of prison during an appeal of his conviction, Bill Haywood fled to the Soviet Union, where he spent the remaining years of his life.


John Reed, Charles Ruthenberg, and Bill Haywood are the only three Americans to be buried at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.


Bill Haywood was born in 1869 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory.


At age nine, Bill Haywood injured his right eye while whittling a slingshot with a knife, permanently blinding that eye.


Bill Haywood never had his damaged eye replaced with a glass eye; when photographed, he would turn his head to show his left profile.


At age 15, with very little formal education, Bill Haywood began working in the mines.


Bill Haywood immediately became active in the WFM, and by 1900 he had become a member of the union's General Executive Board.


At 10 am on June 27,1905, Bill Haywood addressed the crowd assembled at Brand's Hall in Chicago.


Bill Haywood opened the IWW's first convention with the following speech:.


Bill Haywood finished with over 16,000 votes, just under eight percent.


Bill Haywood's trial began on May 9,1907, with famed Chicago defense attorney Clarence Darrow defending him.


Bill Haywood admitted to accepting money from Pinkerton detectives, and had caused explosions during mining disputes before he had met Moyer or Haywood.


Bill Haywood left the WFM and devoted all his time to organizing for the IWW.


Bill Haywood had left the WFM by the time the Lawrence Textile Strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, garnered national attention.


Bill Haywood was indicted in Lawrence for misuse of strike funds, a move that kept him from returning to the city and eventually led to his arrest on the Boston Common.


For many years, Bill Haywood was an active member of the Socialist Party of America.


Bill Haywood had always been largely Marxist in his political views, and campaigned for Debs during the 1908 presidential election, traveling by train with Debs around the country.


Bill Haywood represented the Socialist Party as a delegate to the 1910 congress of the Second International, an organization working towards international socialism.


When Bill Haywood was quoted speaking at public meetings in New York City to the effect that he had never advocated the use of the ballot by the workers but had instead favored the tactics of direct action, an initiative recalling Bill Haywood from the NEC was launched by the State Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of New York.


In February 1913 the recall of Bill Haywood was approved by a margin of more than 2-to-1.


In 1913, Bill Haywood was involved in the Paterson silk strike.


In January 1915, Bill Haywood replaced Vincent St John as General Secretary-Treasurer of the IWW, which he held until October 1917.


Bill Haywood returned to the position of GST from February 1918 until December of the same year when he was replaced by Peter Stone.


The trial lasted five months, the longest criminal trial up to that time; Bill Haywood himself testified for three days.


All 101 defendants were found guilty, and Bill Haywood was sentenced to twenty years in prison.


Bill Haywood will be disowned by the IWW and all sympathizers.


In Soviet Russia, Bill Haywood became a labor advisor to Lenin's Bolshevik government, and served in that position until 1923.


Bill Haywood participated in the founding of the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony.


On May 18,1928, Bill Haywood died in a Moscow hospital from a stroke brought on by alcoholism and diabetes.


Bill Haywood described the execution of the Haymarket leaders in 1887 as a turning point in his life, predisposing him toward membership in the largest organization of the day, the Knights of Labor.


Bill Haywood had suffered a serious hand injury in the mines, and found that his only support came from other miners.


When Bill Haywood listened to Ed Boyce of the WFM addressing a group of miners in 1896, he discovered radical unionism and welcomed it.


Bill Haywood shared Boyce's skepticism of the role played by the AFL.


Bill Haywood criticized labor officials who were, in his view, insufficiently supportive of labor militants.


For example, Bill Haywood recalled with disdain the opening remarks of Samuel Gompers when the AFL leader appeared before Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby on behalf of the Haymarket prisoners:.


Bill Haywood grew up a part of the working class, and his respect for working people was genuine.


Bill Haywood subscribed to the belief, and with Boyce, formulated as a new motto for the WFM, that:.


Bill Haywood observed how the government frequently took the side of business to defeat the tactics and the aspirations of the miners.


Bill Haywood considered the brutal conditions in Coeur d'Alene a manifestation of class warfare.


In 1905 Bill Haywood joined the more left-leaning socialists, labor anarchists in the Haymarket tradition, and other militant unionists to formulate the concept of revolutionary industrial unionism that animated the IWW.


Bill Haywood seemed most comfortable with a philosophy arrived at through the hard-scrabble experiences of the workers.


Bill Haywood had the ability to translate complex economic theories into simple ideas that resonated with working people.


Much of Bill Haywood's philosophy relating to socialism, preferring industrial unionism, his perception of the evils of the wage system, and his attitude about corporations, militias, and politicians seems to have been held in common with his WFM mentor Ed Boyce.


Unlike Boyce and many other labor leaders and organizations of the time, Bill Haywood believed that workers of all ethnicities should organize into the same union.


Bill Haywood criticized the US government's attempts to turn whites against blacks during the 1899 Coeur d'Alene labor confrontation.


Bill Haywood insisted that the white workers invite the African American workers to their convention, declaring:.