On April 20, 1914, machine gunfire erupted over a makeshift tent city near Ludlow, Colorado, marking the beginning of a day and night conflict known as the Ludlow Massacre. At least 25 men, women and children were killed by the National Guard at the behest of the Colorado governor and the Rockefeller family company.
The Ludlow massacre was so brutal that writer Wallace Stegner once called it “one of the darkest, darkest events in the history of the American working class.”
But HISTORY reported that it had little impact on Colorado miners or their families. Federal troops eventually crushed the strike outright, leaving the miners’ unions unrecognized and their wages or working conditions improved.
In any case, the Ludlow massacre is a reminder that just a century ago there was an open armed conflict between capital and labor. Workers’ rights have come a long way during this time, but there are still people who want to go back to the old ways.
PIC: Britannica, Colorado Encyclopedia, Zinn Education Project