Sunday, July 08, 2007

Last survivor of Ludlow massacre dies

The Pueblo Chieftain recently reported that Mary Benich-McCleary, the last known survivor of the Ludlow Massacre, died of a stroke on June 28. McClearly was 18 months old when the Colorado militia attacked striking miners and their families on April 20, 1914 at the Ludlow mining camp north of Trinidad during a labor strike.

Wikipedia has good historical survey of the Ludlow massacre

17 people were killed during an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado in the USA on April 20, 1914. These deaths occurred after a day-long fight between strikers and the Guard. Two women, twelve children, six miners and union officials and one National Guardsman were killed. In response, the miners armed themselves and attacked dozens of mines, destroying property and engaging in several skirmishes with the Colorado National Guard. This was the bloodiest event in the 14-month southern Colorado Coal Strike.
According to Wikipedida, the Colorado Coalfield War was the bloodiest conflict in US labor history.

The University of Denver Anthropology Department has an informative website on the Colorado Coal War

The Colorado Bar Association prepared a historical background on the Ludlow massacre for the 2003 mock trial competition.

Here's a little from the Wikipedia entry on the aftermath.

A United States Commission on Industrial Relations, headed by labor lawyer and Democratic activist Frank Walsh, conducted hearings in Washington, collecting information and taking from all the principals, including Rockefeller. The commission's 1,200 page report suggested many reforms sought by the unions, and provided support for bills establishing a national eight-hour work day and a ban on child labor.

The UMWA eventually bought the site of the Ludlow tent colony in 1916. Two years later, they erected the Ludlow Monument to commemorate those who had died during the strike. The monument was damaged in May 2003 by unknown vandals. The repaired monument was unveiled on June 5, 2005 with slightly altered faces on the statues.

There is a memorial service every June and info on the Memorial site can be found here.

Post a Comment