The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest insurrection in the U.S. since the Civil War. This was not a group of states seeking to set up shop in their own country. This was labor taking a stand against capital. It was not the only such incident; the Battle of Evarts in Kentucky and the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado featured ownership using horrific levels of violence to quell labor uprisings.
In August 1921, thousands of rifle-bearing coal miners marched to this thickly wooded ridge in southern West Virginia, a campaign that was ignited by the daylight assassinations of union sympathizers but had been building for years in the oppressive despair of the coalfields.
The miners’ army was met at Blair Mountain by thousands of men who volunteered to fight with the Logan County sheriff, who was in the pay of the coal companies. Over 12 miles and five days, the sheriff’s men fought the miners, strafing the hillsides with machine-gun fire and dropping IEDs from planes.
There were at least 16 confirmed deaths in the battle, though no one knows exactly how many were killed before the US Army marched in to put a stop to the fighting.
In 1920, Governor Ephraim Morgan set up an American Constitutional Association to select the textbooks used in West Virginia schools, which excluded any mention of the state’s mine wars. Generations grew up cut off from their ancestors’ struggles because business leaders were afraid. At the Mine Wars Museum, Kimberly McCoy, the museum’s resident guide opened up five different West Virginia history textbooks from the 1930s to the 1980s to the section where ‘the Battle of Blair Mountain should have been,’
Kim said, ‘but they’re all empty.
You would not know that U.S. business leaders machine-gunned and bombed workers who only sought a modicum of dignity and safety in their labors. If you know, you may be motivated to act, and that right there is what capital seeks to squash.
Taken from here
Let’s Teach Histories of Left-Wing Rebellion, Like the Battle of Blair Mountain (truthout.org)
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