As Sue Sturgis of Southern Exposure describes it:
Back in 1921, more than 7,000 miners outraged over working conditions in southern West Virginia's coalfields faced off against an army of some 3,000 police backed by the coal companies in an effort to bring in the union.Now there's the spooky echo of company thugs attacking local families, as the mining company has hired security guards in preparation for mtr mining on the historic site of the battle, where mining is being contested because of its possible status as a historic landmark.
When the fight that came to be known as the Battle of Blair Mountain ended five days later after President Harding called in the U.S. Army, anywhere from a dozen to a hundred miners lay dead, along with as many as 30 people from the other side. It was the largest open class war in U.S. history, and the country's largest armed insurrection aside from the Civil War.
CEO Don Blankenship got the 2009 historic designation reversed on a technicality that more landowners opposed the designation. Some say that his count was hinky and the matter is back in the Courts.
Blankenship, of course, is infamous for running the first mine EVER shut down by the Labor Department for safety violations and the mine disaster this past April, which has rumors flying of Massey's possible sale.
There's all this fervor by historians to protect civil war sites from Wal-mart or Disney. How about they come to the aid of Friends of Blair Mountain and prevent our history from being blown to smithereens as a mountaintop removal site.