As I left Trinidad on my way to Walsenburg Monday morning, I passed by a marker for the site of the Ludlow Massacre. The roads were dry after the storm Sunday, and I had time before my first meeting, so I pulled into the Memorial. This is maintained by the United Mine Workers of America. I took the time to read the history of what had happened there in 1914. I tried to take notes, but it was so cold, my pen kept freezing up. What I learned was that about 2,000 coal miners went on strike in September , 1913. They moved into a tent city after their employer locked them out of the company town. As the strike went on, the governor mobilized the Colorado Militia, composed mostly of men from the surrounding towns, and militia men occupied positions around the tent city. After a hard winter, the striking miners, their families, and some members of the militia celebrated Orthodox Easter together on April 19, 1914. The next morning, there was an explosion followed by gunfire. During the next several hours, between twenty and thirty people were killed. Miners, family members and militia men were among the dead. As part of the memorial, John D. Rockefeller, a majority owner in Colorado Fuel Company said, “I believe that a prime consideration in the carrying on of an industry should be the well being of the men and women employed in it…this is the soundest industrial policy.”
I am glad I stopped. It was sobering to learn about such a tragic part of Colorado history. We owe a great deal to organizations like the UMWA, that almost a hundred years ago, stood up for the rights of American workers. We owe a great deal to men like John Rockefeller who provided jobs for those workers, and who learned, too late, but learned nonetheless, the importance of considering working men and women in a sound industrial policy.
Tired of unresponsive "representatives" who do as they're told?
Governance is too important to leave in the hands of politicians. We need to hold our representatives feet to the fire. We must watch every bill, demand that they read it fully and listen to us. We must be relentless in our civic duty because we have been asleep too long.
- Bob McConnell
- Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
- I'm a conservative Republican who ran for Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District in 2010. Though I lost the primary I gained an amazing insight into how politics works, and I met hundreds of wonderful, concerned citizens. Let's stay engaged in the mission. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep the faith.