Sunday, September 03, 2006

Blair Mountain, Logan County, WV

This weekend marks the eighty-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain, an event that culminated when the United States military suppressed a firefight between pro-union miners and coal company owned law enforcement officials. An older gentleman that worked with the youth in the church I grew up in was from Logan County and I remember on several occasions his stories about the day the Army bombed U.S. citizens. I don't think he was old enough to have been born at the time of the battles but the story lives strong with the locals there as well as other mining communities in Appalachia. It also is where the term "Redneck" may have been started as the pro-union fighters wore a red bandanna around their necks.

To mark the occasion, the Roanoke Times has several articles with the details for the uprising, the battle details and first hand histories from people who were there. They also detail the fight of Blair Mountain today, to mine or not to mine. Check out the links on the left side of the story for more articles.

Jeff Bigger's "United States of Appalachia" also details this story briefly, quoting one miner comparing his actions against the opposition with those of John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.

No comments: