Listening in on the recent march on Blair Mountain
Take a listen to Catherine Moore’s 10-minute audio documentary on the recent 50-mile march on Blair Mountain by a colorful crew of hundreds of marchers, intent on preserving the historic site. Moore, one of the march organizers, captures in sound, the flavor of the march, including some of the people along the way who objected to it. For background on Blair Mountain and the march, listen to the companion piece: The Many Stories of Blair Mountain (WAV) by beautymountainstudio. Both pieces originally aired on WMMT Appalshop Radio and the “Many Stories” piece also aired on West Virgina Public Radio’s “Inside Appalachia.”
As the Charleston Gazette has noted, Massey Energy, now part of Alpha Resources, and Arch Coal have both expressed an interest in opening mountaintop removal operations on top of the mountain where a historic battle United Mine Workers members waged against local sheriffs and mine guards took place in late August and early September 1921.
The marchers walked approximately the same route more than 10,000 coal miners took between Aug. 24 and Sept. 4, 1921, marching to Logan County to organize non-union miners, writes the Gazette’s Paul Nyden. “The 1921 March on Blair Mountain was the biggest armed conflict in American labor history. After several days of battles, federal troops arrived and ended the conflict.”
Here is a video I did for the Gazette on the first day of the march on Blair Mountain. See the companion story on the Gazette web site: