Luella Twining

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Luella Twining in 1913

Luella Twining (November 14, 1871 - December 22, 1939) was a journalist, labor organizer and Socialist politician. Twining presided over the ratification meeting during the first convention of the Industrial Workers of the World, representing the American Federal Union.[1] [2] At this convention she was a major advocate of a May 1st "labor day" holiday for workers, stating "We do not want a capitalist Labor Day. Let us have a labor day of our own. Let us have an international labor day, the first day of May."[2]:197

Twining was known as "The Joan of Arc of the working class" in the early part of the 20th century, a title she shared with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.[3][4] Twining organized 18,000 women during a general strike in Philadelphia.[5]

She was on the payroll of the Western Federation of Miners in 1907-1908 as a solicitor of the defense and frequently would speak on labor topics as their representative. [6][7] She toured the country with Bill Haywood, as his manager, in 1908.[8] She was also a sought-after public speaker on topics such as class conflict and improvement of labor conditions for women.[3] She wrote for many labor and socialist papers including writing about the Cherry Mine Disaster and other topics for the Appeal to Reason newspaper.[9]

Political activities[edit]

In 1906 she ran for U.S. Congress from Colorado, as a Socialist.[10][11] In 1910 she was a delegate to the International Socialist Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.[3] She was elected to the Women's National Committee of the Socialist party in 1912.[12] She ran for election in California's 6th congressional district in 1918 as a Socialist.[13]

In 1921 she was living in Berkeley, California and rented a room to Alfred Korzybski.[14] by 1930 she was living in Santa Monica California where she would live the rest of her life. Her census profile describes her as a writer of books.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Twining was born in 1871 in Washington, Iowa to Edward and Florence Conger Twining. She died in Santa Monica, California of cancer in 1939.[16]


  1. ^ Brundage, D.T. (1994). The Making of Western Labor Radicalism: Denver's Organized Workers, 1878-1905. Working class in American history. University of Illinois Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-252-02075-9. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  2. ^ a b Industrial Workers of the World (1905). Proceedings of The annual Convention of the Industrial Workers of the World. p. 567. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  3. ^ a b c "National Socialist Lyceum Course: Luella Twining". The Commonwealth (116). Everett, Washington. March 21, 1913. p. 1. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Gurley Flynn". The Northwest Worker. Everett, Washington. January 18, 1917. p. 2. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  5. ^ Oregon, University of; Library, Knight (1913-03-22). "Malheur enterprise. (Vale, Or.) 1909-current, March 22, 1913, Image 3". Historic Oregon Newspapers. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  6. ^ Twining, Luella (October 12, 1907). "The Eastern Conferences: Progress of the Defence Work Among Unions of the East". Appeal to Reason. Girard, KS. p. 2. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Official Proceedings : Western Federation of Miners, Convention, Western Federation of Miners". Internet Archive. 1908. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  8. ^ Haywood, W.D. (2018). Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood. Papamoa Press. p. 429. ISBN 978-1-78912-409-5. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  9. ^ Twining, Luella (November 27, 1909). "Miners Murdered". Appeal to Reason. Girard, Kansas. p. 5. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Herald Democrat November 5, 1906". Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  11. ^ "Luella Twining". Her Hat Was In The Ring. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  12. ^ Kaneko, J.C. (1912). The Progressive Woman. 6. p. 38. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  13. ^ "11-05-1918 Election". JoinCalifornia. 1918-11-05. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  14. ^ "Chapter 22 - "Just Work, Work, Work": Part 3 - Down and Out". Korzybski Files: Chapter 22. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  15. ^ "1930 Census, California, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, ED 1492". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Luella Twining Death Certificate". FamilySearch. Retrieved 9 January 2020.