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Mon May 18, 2020, 04:07 PM

'Matewan Massacre' a century ago embodied miners' struggles


John Raby, Associated Press
Updated 10:15 am CDT, Monday, May 18, 2020

MATEWAN, W.Va. (AP) — The bullet holes in the brick wall of a former post office serve as a reminder of how Appalachian coal miners fought to improve the lives of workers a century ago.

Ten people were killed in a gun battle between miners, who were led by a local police chief, and a group of private security guards hired to evict them for joining a union in Matewan, a small “company town” in West Virginia.

Plans to publicly commemorate what became known as the Matewan Massacre have been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic until September at least. But historians consider the bloodshed on May 19, 1920, memorialized in the 1987 film “Matewan,” to be a landmark moment in the battles for workers’ rights that raged across the Appalachian coalfields in the early 20th century.

“The company town system was extremely oppressive," said Lou Martin, a history professor at Chatham University in Pittsburgh and a board member of the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum in Matewan. "The company owned the houses, the only store in town, ran the church and controlled every aspect of the miners’ lives.”

More:
https://www.chron.com/news/article/Matewan-Massacre-a-century-ago-embodied-miners-15277585.php

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Reply 'Matewan Massacre' a century ago embodied miners' struggles (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 18 OP
doc03 May 18 #1
vanamonde May 19 #3
doc03 May 19 #4
appalachiablue May 18 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2020, 04:50 PM

1. I think Matawan should be required watching

for today's anti union brainwashed generation.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Tue May 19, 2020, 03:53 PM

3. I absolutely agree.

Excellent movie, excellent educational opportunity.

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Response to vanamonde (Reply #3)

Tue May 19, 2020, 03:59 PM

4. Today's generations think all the benefits workers

have today was just given to workers by companies. They don't know all the coal miners, steelwoekers and auto workers gave up their lives for them. I was on strike for over a year to get the pension I have now.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2020, 08:35 PM

2. K/R

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