Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “coal mining”

October 25, 1899

jermynfirstaidsignTwenty-five anthracite coal miners from the Jermyn Coal Colliery in northeastern Pennsylvania attend what is believed to be the first formal training on first aid. Believing that many lives could be saved with quick, efficient medical care until a physician arrived, local doctor Matthew Shields set up a series of courses for the miners who, upon completion, were prepared and able to render first aid to their co-workers.

October 23, 1958

springhill-mine-survivor-and-sonThe Cumberland Railway and Coal Company’s No. 2 Colliery – one of the deepest coal mines in the world – just outside the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, is struck by an underground “bump.” The shift was the result of increased tensions in the earth due to the removal of coal and the lack of replacement support. Rescue efforts continued for days. Of the 174 men in the mine at the time, 74 were killed and 100 were trapped but eventually rescued.

May 12, 1902


Nearly 150,000 anthracite coal miners go on strike in Eastern Pennsylvania for higher wages, better working conditions, and recognition of their union:  the United Mine Workers of America.  After months of an extreme coal shortage, President Teddy Roosevelt intervened, a commission was set up, and the strike was called off after 163 days.

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