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 …