From About Archaeology:
In the decades before World War I, industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller had become millionaires; by the early years of the 20th century labor unrest blossomed in the United States, particularly in the coal mine industry.
Strikes grew into riots occurring throughout the US, and then into full scale battles, the most famous of which was in 1914, the Ludlow Coal Massacre, when Colorado National Guard opened fire on a tent city of striking miners and their families in Ludlow Colorado.
On April 20, 1914, Colorado National Guardsmen attacked a tent colony of 1,200 striking miners at Ludlow, Colorado, looting and burning the colony.
Twenty-five people were killed. This was the worst of many such skirmishes between the government and the miners in Coal Field War of 1914, which lasted for seven months.
The battle lasted 14 hours and included a machine gun and 200 armed militia; the tent city was destroyed.
Of the 25 people killed, three were militia men, twelve were children, and one was an uninvolved passerby.
The strikers were mostly Greek, Italian, Slav, and Mexican workers; the militia were sent by the Governor of Colorado and ultimately by John D. Rockefeller, owner of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company.
United Mine Workers History
The UMWA lost the Coal Field War. The strike ended in December 1914, and 408 miners were arrested, some for murder, including their leader John Lawson.
However, none of the arrests ever resulted in findings of guilt.
Ten officers and 12 enlisted men were court-martialed and exonerated for the events at Ludlow.
However, because of the public outcry, the UMWA grew strong and eventually the miners’ situation improved.
Recent Research and Findings
Dean Saitta and Randall MacGuire have been conducting archaeological investigations at Ludlow for the past several years, using innovative techniques combining remote sensing and historic photographs.
Several professional articles have been published, and are listed on the Colorado Coal Field War Project Site.
Sources and links on the Ludlow Massacre
* The Ludlow Massacre, this information and more sources
* Colorado Coal Field War Project, from Binghamton University, Fort Lewis, and the University of Denver is the best source for detailed information about the site, including a bibliography and photos
* Battlefield Archaeology
This music video from the USA is the song Ludlow Massacre by Woodie Guthrie. It says about itself:
Refers to the violent deaths of 20 people, 11 of them children, during an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families in Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914.
Read the lyrics here.
US labor movement about 1900: here.
The Ludlow Massacre: Never to be forgotten! Here.
There are few private law enforcement organizations in the United States that have been as controversial as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. On one side it is admired for bringing to law many a notorious criminal. On the other, it is detested for its vicious behavior and it intense support of anti labor measures. Read more at Suite101: The Pinkerton Detective Agency: Between the Law and Hooliganism: here.
- NEW! Regional Award: Ludlow Massacre & SoCo Mine Wars (schistoryday.wordpress.com)
- Louis Tikas: from Crete to Colorado as Labor Union Organizer (usa.greekreporter.com)
- Christmas Eve massacre, 1913, Michigan, USA (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- 102. Ludlow Massacre (fugious.wordpress.com)
- The Wereth 11, a Little-Known Massacre During the Battle of the Bulge (historynet.com)
- 1930 – Death of Cork-born union organizer and human rights activist, Mary Harris – “Mother” Jones”. (stairnaheireann.wordpress.com)
- The 1914 Christmas Truce – Remembering a Miracle (freedomoutpost.com)