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One hundred years ago, West Virginia was home to our nation’s most violent labor uprising.
For some, the Battle of Blair Mountain was a watershed moment when coal workers decided their rights were worth fighting and even dying for. The armed insurrection pitted 10,000 coal miners against 3,000 heavily armed coal industry guards and state troopers. The conflict came to a head because of the social and economic forces that hit West Virginia’s coal country after World War I. It was the largest labor uprising in American history and the largest armed conflict since the Civil War. And yet, the Battle of Blair Mountain is largely unknown to most Americans, including West Virginians.
To learn more, Us & Them host Trey Kay follows the path of the miners on their march to Mingo, and learns what precipitated the battle.
For more information about Charles B. Keeney’s book “The Road to Blair Mountain: Saving a Mine Wars Battlefield from King Coal.”
For more information about Mary Hott’s album “Devil in the Hills: A Coal Reckoning.”
This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council and the CRC Foundation.
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