In 1921, union miners staged the largest armed insurrection in American labor history on Blair Mountain, in Logan County, WV. Between 10,000 and 15,000 UMWA miners were stopped en route to Mingo County, where they were marching to liberate union men imprisoned under martial law and to organize the coalfields by force. For five days, the miners confronted a private army run by coal operators– and were only defeated when the US Army intervened on industry’s behalf. While the miners lost on Blair, the battle led to a much stronger American labor movement that went on to win numerous concessions, including minimum wage and standardized work weeks.
We owe it to the brave miners of Blair Mountain to honor the ground they fought upon. While the battleground portion of Blair Mountain was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in Spring 2009, it was delisted that December, when out-of-state coal companies rounded up additional objectors among landowners on the mountain. Suddenly, landowners who favored the historic listing were outweighed by those who did not (two deceased were among the objectors). Now, several historical and environmental groups in WV are working to get Blair Mountain placed back on the registry. Meanwhile, some of Blair Mountain’s richest archeological locations are mysteriously being bulldozed.
From Friends of Blair Mountain:
[Read their press release about the destruction here.]
Local citizens, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Sierra Club,
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and the Friends of Blair Mountain are
working together to preserve the site of the largest labor insurrection in
The National Trust, Sierra Club, and OVEC have filed a petition asking the
National Park Service to reevaluate the listing on the National Register
due to major discrepancies in the nomination process.
This reevaluation is all the more urgent due to the recently discovered
destruction of five locations within the battlefield, as seen in the video
below and documented in a report by the Friends of Blair Mountain.
Please take action now. Write the National Park Service and kindly ask
them to reconsider the listing!