In 1914, near Trinidad, Colo., coal miners from the southern coal fields of Colorado tried to organize a union to improve working conditions, enforce the eight-hour work day, have the right to select their own boarding places, doctors and grocery stores, and decrease the high death toll of miners. Their struggle made history on April 20, when National Guard troops fired on striking miners and their families. Known as the Ludlow Massacre, "the bloodiest union fight in Colorado" killed four men, two women and 11 children, says historian Joanna Sampson, author of the booklet, Remember Ludlow! "The history of coal mining is full of this kind of thing, but the Ludlow Massacre blew the lid off of the terrible conditions of coal mining," says Sampson.
Ludlow is now a ghost town: Piles of
rubble and dusty streets interrupt the plains of southeast
Colorado, but some people are trying to ensure that what happened
at Ludlow will not be forgotten. Remember
Ludlow!, which recounts the massacre's history in words
and photos, was published last year on the 85th anniversary of the
tragedy. It is available at a monument in Ludlow, erected by the
United Mine Workers of America in 1918.
free copy, contact Loretta Piûeda, State of Colorado Division
of Minerals and Geology, 1313 Sherman Street, Room 215, Denver, CO
80203 (303/866-3819), or e-mail