Blair Mountain

December 28, 1879: Brigadier General Billy Mitchell Born in France

Dec 28, 2018
Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / United States Air Force

Brigadier General Billy Mitchell was born in France on December 28, 1879. By 1921, he’d become chief of the Army Air Service. After seeing the potential military impact of aircraft during World War I, he wanted to demonstrate how planes could be used to quell civil unrest at home.

Courtesy of Kenneth King and the WV Mine Wars Museum

The Department of the Interior is dropping its appeal of a ruling that said the agency shouldn't have removed the site of the Blair Mountain labor battle from a list of historic places.

In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, the department and Secretary Sally Jewell filed a motion to drop the appeal.

blairmountain.org

A federal judge in Washington has ruled that the U.S. Interior Department was wrong when it removed the site of the Blair Mountain labor battle from the National Register of Historic Places.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Monday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted a motion for summary judgment sought by groups that challenged a 2009 decision that Blair Mountain should be delisted.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This past weekend, over 500 people visited Matewan, West Virginia- to catch a glimpse of a brand new museum that tells the story of a dark and bloody time in West Virginia’s labor history. 

Coal miners were fighting for the right to organize--and to stop the practice of using mine guards. They also wanted an alternative to shopping at coal company stores and being paid in scrip, instead of money. In the early 1900’s, miners led a series of strikes in southern West Virginia, leading up to the climatic march on Blair Mountain in 1921.

blairmountain.org

State mining regulators have ordered a coal company to add a buffer zone at a surface mine near Blair Mountain.

The 1,000-foot buffer zone ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection is aimed at prevented mining activities from coming too close to the site where coal miners trying to unionize fought police and hired guns in 1921.

Division of Mining and Reclamation acting director Harold Ward tells the Charleston Gazette that state inspectors discovered that Aracoma Coal's state permit for its Camp Branch mine didn't include a buffer zone.