Pat Bagley begins six-day serialization of life and death of Joe Hill

Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley has started a six-day serialization of the story of Joe Hill – a labor organizer executed here in Utah a 100 years ago for murder. Today his guilt is very much in doubt.

Here’s Pat:

Starting today and continuing through Friday, I will be serializing the life of Joe Hill in my usual editorial cartoon spot. There will be six installments that narrate the Joe Hill saga from his childhood in Gavle, Sweden, to his execution in the Utah State Prison in Sugar House 100 years ago.

The first thing I did was toss out the idea that this would be unbiased narrative. “Joe Hill: His Story” is told from Hill’s point of view and is unapologetic in prosecuting his claim that he was railroaded by Utah authorities.

I can’t help but identify with Hill. He is best remembered as a songwriter who influenced major American singers from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan, but he was also a cartoonist with a wicked sense of humor. It was easy to crawl into his skin.

The paper is running several pieces this week on the Joe Hill history. This Saturday is a commemoration of his life at Sugar House park where the prison and execution used to be.

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