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View Diary: George McGovern, 1922-2012. R.I.P. (190 comments)

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  •  Ludlow Massacre -- touchstone for McGovern (16+ / 0-)

    George McGovern's dissertation on the Great Colorado Coal Strike 1913-1914 was published as a book at the time of his run for the presidency: McGovern, George S., and Leonard F. Guttridge, The Great Coalfield War. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1972.

    I have a copy on my bookshelf (picked up in a library rummage sale).  

    The Colorado Coal strike culminated in the Ludlow Massacre..  This is the event memorialized by Woody Guthrie, where mercenaries and the National Guard burned the tent camp on miners at night, burning and asphyxiating women and children.

    The strikers lost the conflict with Rockefeller's coal outfit,  but the event created national momentum for reform.  Per wikipedia:  

    Historian Howard Zinn described the Ludlow Massacre as "the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history".[3] Congress responded to public outcry by directing the House Committee on Mines and Mining to investigate the incident.[4] Its report, published in 1915, was influential in promoting child labor laws and an eight-hour work day.
    The efforts of McGovern to memorial the struggle for union rights and human dignity in his dissertation, and his continuation of that legacy as a politician fit together, and illustrate his commitment drawn from careful study.
    •  I had forgotten about that. I was in attendance... (9+ / 0-)

      ...when the United Mine Workers vice president of the time, Sam Church (soon to be president), gave a speech on the 65th anniversary commemoration of Ludlow at the site of the massacre. One of the people also in attendance that day was a 98-year-old miner, Luis Hernández, still ramrod straight and able to remember his days of mining. By the time Ludlow occurred, he had been working underground for 20 years.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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