06 December 2015

On This Day: Today is National Miners Day


Congress has designated this day, 6 December, as National Miners Day. It is a day to honor, remember and appreciate the miners of today and days past.



The day was chosen to also specifically remember the anniversary of the worst mining accident in history.

On This Day in 1907, an explosion occurred in Mine No. 6 and Mine No. 8 of the Fairmont Coal Company’s mines in Monongah, Marion County, West Virginia.  An official cause was never determined.



The blast was so strong it was felt by those eight miles away. Streetcars were knocked off their rails. People fell to the ground.



Over 360 miners – men and boys - died that day. The official number was listed as 362 but companies did not keep records as they do today and the number may well be more. There were over 1000 widows and fatherless children left behind. The majority of those who perished were Italian immigrants. Many were laid to rest in unmarked graves.



The explosion was the beginning of the push for better safety and accountability. In 1910 Congress created the US Bureau of Mines.



Sources

History in Pictures. HistoryinPictures.com.


“Monongah mining disaster of 1907.” Encyclopaedia Britannica.



“National Miners Day” US Department of Labor. (Photo)



“The Monongah coal mine disaster.” 1907. This Day in History, History.com.







On This Day is a prompt to further explore historical events.

                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.