Ludlow massacre

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Ludlow massacre

Ludlow massacre, strike-related killings at Ludlow, Colo., on Apr. 20, 1914. Attempting to improve wages and working conditions and to stop numerous abuses, coal miners had been on strike at the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron Corp. since Sept., 1913. Evicted from company housing and aided by the United Mine Workers union, which had called the strike, some 12,000 miners had set up tent colonies in the hills nearby the mines. The largest, which housed some 1,200 miners and their families, was near the railroad depot of Ludlow. On Apr. 20th shooting broke out between the Colorado National Guard, which had been called in in Oct. 1913 by the state's governor, and the heavily armed miners at Ludlow. The Guard was reinforced by mine guards, and gunfire continued throughout the day; more than a dozen people, including the local union leader, Louis Tikas, were killed. Guardsmen set the miners' tents ablaze, and two women and 11 children were killed as they hid in a pit beneath a burning tent. Soon called the Ludlow massacre by the UMW, the killings led to retaliation during the next week and a half by the miners, who burned, looted, and destroyed several mines. More than 75 were killed in what became known as the Colorado Coalfield War before federal troops restored order. One of the most brutal encounters in the history of American organized labor, the Ludlow Massacre turned public opinion against the mine owners.


See studies by G. S. McGovern and L. F. Guttridge (1972), Z. Papanikolas, S. Martelle, (2007), and T. G. Andrews (2008).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ludlow Massacre


a slaughter of the miners in Colorado (USA) in April 1914. On Sept. 23, 1913, the miners struck, demanding higher wages, the introduction of the eight-hour workday, and recognition of the trade union. The strike dragged on for months. In April 1914, hired bands of gangsters and troops attacked and burned the camp near Ludlow where striking miners had gone after being thrown out of their homes; the strikers’ leaders were seized and shot. Hunger and the murder of dozens of people forced the miners to return to work.


Zubok, L. I. Ocherki istorii rabochego dvizheniia v SShA, 1865-1918. Moscow, 1962.
leln, S. Iz istorii zabastovochnogo dvizheniia v SShA. Moscow, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was this strike that led directly to the Ludlow Massacre, killing more than 20 people and leaving the town of Trinidad shaken to its core.
He has worked as an associate producer on the documentary "Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre,"a story about migrants and labor relations in early 20th century US.
The invention of the Graflex camera in 1898 greatly increased the ease and speed with which events could be covered, and with the rise of the rotogravure and tabloid presses in the 1910s, news photographs were finally able to make some impact on the visual construction of labour relations and unionization covering, for instance, the 1909 Uprising of the Twenty Thousand, the 1911 Triangle Fire, the 1914 Ludlow Massacre, and the wave of strikes that followed World War I.
On April 20, 1914, the Ludlow Massacre took place when the Colorado National Guard opened fire on a tent colony of striking miners; about 20 (accounts vary) strikers, women and children died in the gunfire or were smothered by smoke from the burning tents.
The Ludlow Massacre, as it has become known, was a showdown between coal miners trying to organize with the United Mine Workers of American and old-line capitalists fighting unionization.
territorial officials; a visit to the Las Vegas, New Mexico home to Billy the Kid-era Anglo-Irish range wars; and an exploration of the Ludlow Massacre Memorial site drawing attention to pitched fighting between mine owners and workers along the Front Range for more than a month.
After the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, in which miners on strike were attacked and killed, Mother Jones met with oil baron John D.
Andrews fine book, Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War, finds renewed energy in a standard tale of labor historians--the Colorado labor wars and the 1914 Ludlow massacre. Andrews places incidents labor historians usually highlight within an analysis of the role of energy in the region's development and an environmental social history of Colorado mining communities.
The Ludlow Massacre and Great Colorado Coalfield War occurred over a period of fourteen months in 1913-14.
Set in Colorado during the early 1900's, Ludlow tells of Greek, Mexican, Scottish, and Italian immigrants and their struggle to eke out a living--culminating in the horrific Ludlow Massacre of April 1914, in which elements of the Colorado National Guard killed striking miners and their family members.
Others in the 'American Workers' series cover specific events in labor history: Nancy Whitelaw's The Homestead Steel Strike Of 1892 (1931798885) covers conflicts between workers and Carnegie and Frick, who had to deal with a powerful labor union; Rosemary Laughlin's The Ludlow Massacre Of 1813-14 (1931798869) tells of a Colorado strike by mine workers which turned into bloodshed, and her Pullman Strike Of 1894 (1931798893) reveals the first major strike at the Pullman Palace Car Company.
Other events such as the Colorado Ludlow massacre are discussed.