The Ludlow Massacre: The Battle Of The Colorado Coal Strike

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During the Colorado Coal Strike from 1913 to 1914, one of the largest losses of life was the Ludlow Massacre, or sometimes referred to as the Battle of Ludlow, on April 20, 1914. Colorado was the epicenter for mine-related violence in the West. From 1913 to 1918, the United Mine Workers of America launched a full-scale unionization campaign by sending forty-two organizers to the Trinidad coal mine located in Ludlow, Colorado. Ludlow was the largest tent colony in Colorado and a major source of tension during the Colorado Coal Strike. Strikers were asking for better wages and pay for “dead work” (unpaid work necessary for maintaining workable conditions), an eight-hour workday, the right to elect their own checkweighmen, the right to choose what resources they buy and use, and the enforcement of the Colorado Mining Laws. Consequently, hundreds of mine…show more content…
On the morning of the Ludlow Massacre, explosions were set off by the National Guard around 9 o’clock and certain panic ensued. Women and children ran from their tents to the arroyo outside of the town. An exchange of fire began between strikers and guardsmen and continued until around 5 o’clock when the guardsmen began looting striker’s tents and setting them on fire. Twenty lives were lost including two of the striker’s wives and eleven children, but only one of these lives belonged to the National Guard. With this in mind, it can be debated whether or not this event should be considered a battle or a massacre. Some have argued that, because of the striker’s retaliation, the event should be considered battle, but because of previous abuse and the guard’s disregard for who they were firing at it and careless destruction, it should be considered a
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