History Repeats Itself

It has been said that if we don't learn from history we are bound to repeat it. During my extensive study of labor history for my book "Miner Injustice the Ragman's War" and the sequel "Wildcat Strike" I have found this to be true especially with the struggle to establish a workers union. On this page I will relate current events to conditions during the labor movement of the 1920's and 1930's.


I am the author of "Bucket of Blood the Ragman's War" , "Miner Injustice", and presently working on "Wildcat Strike, Building A Union". I am the daughter of a coal miner, union organizer, and early civil rights activist. A graduate of Thiel College, I live in the mountains of rural Virginia with my husband, two golden retrievers, and bossy cat.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Survival When All Is Taken Away

During the Pennsylvania coal strike of 1927 an estimated 200,000 people had their property seized and sold at auction and were forcibly evicted from their homes. The mine families were left with nothing. They lived for over a year in crowded, unheated union barracks that offered little protection from the elements. Some lived in tents. The garden produce stored for winter was destroyed by company agents. Water was obtained from nearby creeks, polluted with mine drainage, and no sanitation facilities were provided. The immigrant miners had to stay and endure because there was no other place for them to go. Coal and Iron police made their lives a living hell.

Relief in the form of food, blankets, and clothing promised by John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers, was too little, too late, and too sporadic. Those rich enough to help looked the other way. The industrialist controlled governments on the State and Federal levels assisted to starve the miners back to work. The families had no place to turn to for help except each other, yet they survived.
Miner Injustice the Ragman’s War by R. S. Sukle is the story of that survival.


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