When Miners March

When Miners March

William C. Blizzard

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 1604863005

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Chronicling the West Virginia Mine Wars of the 1920s, this first-hand account of the coal miners' uprisings offers a new perspective on labor unrest during this time period. Complete with previously unpublished family photographs and documents, this retelling shares the experiences of Bill Blizzard, the author's father who was the leader of the Red Neck Army. The tensions between the union and the coal companies that led up to the famous Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest open and armed rebellion in United States history, are described in detail, as are its aftermath and legacy. Addressing labor issues in contemporary times, this historical narrative makes clear the human costs of extracting coal for electricity.

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History, missed the big one. No mention of Blair Mountain, the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War. No mention of Bill Blizzard. Zinn’s work is rightfully a classic “must read” for students of American history. It is also a loud reminder that the people’s history can easily be forgotten if the people do not insist on remembering. PM Press was founded at the end of 2007 by a small collection of folks with decades of publishing, media, and organizing experience. PM co-founder Ramsey

much shocked at this behavior of Lively. But the coal company attorney calmly told him that exactly the same methods had been used by the United States Government to break up and hang the Molly Maguires. It is not our purpose to speak here of the Molly Maguires (an invented name, by the way, for a group of Irish miners in Pennsylvania), but the attorney for the operators in this case spoke the truth. The Pinkerton Detective Agency was used instead of the Baldwin-Felts. To return to Lively, all

guts or gall to sign their names. “Study, educate, agitate and work to enlighten your fellows in order that you can function when you are called upon to do so.” 1/10/53 (Thirty-seventh) As can be seen, the miners were filled with a sense of outrage. And on June 14, just about the time Mooney’s letter was written, an incident occurred in Mingo County which fanned the miners’ anger to an even hotter flame. This was the Lick Creek affair. There were two strikers’ tent colonies on Lick Creek,

witness against the miners, from such evidence as may be procured at this date. In fact, the one-sided West Virginia industrial situation was eliciting comment from the national press. The New York Tribune said: “In his testimony in the West Virginia ‘treason’ trial Governor Morgan made the extra-ordinary admission that a private government, whose army consists of the notorious ‘mine guards,’ exists in his state, and that though opposed to it he is powerless to end it. “If this condition exists

grueling weeks could be restrained no longer. Cheers resounded throughout the courtroom. Blizzard’s mother, wife and children clung to his neck, while the young defendant, all smiles, shook hands with friends until his hand was sore. He later headed a parade, complete with drum corps, which marched through the streets of Charles Town. The following comment from The Nation magazine was typical of the opinion of the liberal press: “The acquittal of William Blizzard, charged with treason in

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