Simms on the cover of the March 1932 Labor Defender
Harry Simms Hersh
December 25, 1911
|Died||February 11, 1932 (aged 20)|
|Political party||Young Communist League|
Harry Simms (December 25, 1911 – February 11, 1932), born Harry Simms Hersh, was an American labor leader from Springfield, Massachusetts. He was sent by the National Miners Union to Harlan County, Kentucky during the Harlan County War to organize the mine workers there.
On February 10, 1932, Simms was shot near Brush Creek in Knox County by a sheriff's deputy who also worked as a mine guard for the local coal company. Simms died of his wound at Barbourville Hospital the next day. He was memorialized in a ballad, "The Death of Harry Simms" by Aunt Molly Jackson and Jim Garland, and his funeral service at the Bronx Coliseum attracted a crowd of some 20,000 people. The famous folksinger Pete Seeger popularized "The Death of Harry Simms" after learning it from Jim Garland at the Newport Folk Festival in the 1960s. Tao Rodriguez Seeger has performed a cover version of the song with the Allegro Youth Orchestra (available on YouTube).
- The Death of Harry Simms. a song written by his personal friend Jim Garland and Garland's stepsister Aunt Molly Jackson
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