Megan Murphy

Megan Murphy, a student at Merrimack High School in Merrimack, NH, won the Gold Medal and $1,000 prize in the American Labor History category for her web site The Leadership and Legacy of Mother Jones and her Fight for Workers’ Rights.

The prize is sponsored by the American Labor Studies Center


The event was held on June 18at the University of Maryland in College Park. Megan’s teachers are Lindsey Bates and Peter Petrigno.

“Megan did a wonderful job capturing the story of Irish American Mary Harris “Mother” Jones by exploring the historical context, her early life, leadership and legacy as a fighter for the rights of workers,” said ALSC executive director Paul F. Cole.  “Megan used historic photos, documents, songs and quotes to provide viewers with a fascinating look at one of American labor’s most controversial and exciting leaders.”

She also relied on a wide variety of other sources including an array of Jones’ speeches, letters, films, newspaper articles, web sites, interviews and more in constructing the comprehensive web site.

Megan highlights Mother Jones’ role in the Cripple Creek strike, a West Virginia coal strike, and her famous “March of the Mill Children” in 1903 from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt’s summer home in Oyster bay on Long Island to publicize the harsh conditions of child labor.

There were a number of other entries on American Labor History such as A. Philip Randolph, Cesar Chavez, Frances Perkins, Lewis Hine, Pete Seeger, Delores Huerta,Emma Goldman, Florence Kelley, Bayard Rustin, the Triangle Factory Fire and others.

Nearly 6000 middle and high school students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and various international schools attended the event.  More than 6000 students competed in five categories, exhibits, papers, performances and web sites.

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