Subversive Historian – 04/20/09

The Ludlow Massacre

Back in the day on April 20th, 1914 Colorado National Guardsmen machine-gunned a tent colony of striking coal miners. This episode of violence exactly ninety-five years ago came to be known as the “Ludlow Massacre.” Coal miners in the state had been on strike since September 1913 seeking to unionize the Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation owned by the Rockefeller family. Striking for better wages, working conditions and an end to company town domination, the will of the workers could not be broken by previous violent skirmishes with hired thugs and the guardsmen, John D. Rockefeller’s version of the drastic measures taken to finally end the strike incredulously declared that, “There was no Ludlow Massacre. There were no women or children shot by the authorities of the State or representatives of the operators.”

However, the legendary Woody Guthrie, compensating for the omissions of establishment history, help maintained the memory of the Ludlow Massacre when he sang, “We took some cement and walled that cave up/ Where you killed these thirteen children inside/ I said, “God bless the Mine Workers’ Union/ And then I hung my head and cried.”

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One response to “Subversive Historian – 04/20/09

  1. Pingback: In the Mexican suitcase « Poumista

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