Going Back to Blair Mountain

The Largest Armed Labor Uprising in American History Is Finally Getting the Remembrance It Deserves

For most people, the memory of the largest armed labor uprising in American history is unknown, buried beneath the dirt of West Virginia’s Blair Mountain alongside bullet casings and relics of coal camp life. In miners’ families, the stories stayed alive, passed down around kitchen tables and on front porches. But until the 21st century, there were no monuments, museums, or markers of the West Virginia mine wars, a seminal American story of how labor unions came to be.

In late August 1921, some 15,000 mineworkers and allies banded together across …

More In: Essays

The FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Search Was 1,500 Years in the Making | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Search Was 2,500 Years in the Making

Democracy Requires Equality Before the Law—And That Includes Ex-Presidents

“All Americans are entitled to the evenhanded application of the law,” Attorney General Merrick Garland assured Americans on August 11, 2022, following the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at …

The Valley’s Last Camaro | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Valley’s Last Camaro

In 1992, General Motors Shuttered Its Van Nuys Plant—But Not Before Union Workers Left Their Mark on the Final Car They Produced

Improbably, the best monument to the old General Motors assembly plant in Van Nuys, California, sits in a garage in Jamestown, North Dakota—the final car produced at the facility that …

Why Migrant Butterflies Are Dying | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Migrant Butterflies Are Dying

Border Policies, Corporate Greed, and Political Dysfunction Hurt Monarchs and Humans Alike

In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus plexippus, to its Red List of Threatened Species, a recognition that the insect’s ongoing …

Why Are Democrats Reluctant to Be Woke? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Are Democrats Reluctant to Be Woke?

The Party’s Fear of Alienating White Voters Is Misplaced—And Creating a Missed Opportunity

Recent debates over how race fits into American politics have centered on one word: “woke.” Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” which took effect in July, is intended to restrict how schools …