While the nation generally
viewed the American West as the storied ranges of cowboys and Indians, in
reality the region was poised on the brink of an industrial showdown. It was
a conflict that would
eventually grip the West from the Canadian to the Mexican borders. . .destroy
thousands of lives. . .challenge the nation's core values of justice. . .and
shape the very nature of working in America throughout the twentieth century.
It was a very different time, and the fuse had been lit.
To see turn-of-the-century
miners in action, view
this short Quicktime movie. View this vintage footage by downloading
a free version of Quicktime.
Follow along Ken Verdoia's
Fire in the Hole script, posted here in thematic sections, and explore
Violence flares and troops are called out as Idaho explodes in 1892
Unions gain a foothold in the Colorado gold fields in 1894.
Mines are dynamited and troops march again in 1898.
The dreams of a "worker's paradise" are crushed in Cripple Creek.
The Trial of the Century
A Governor is killed; Labor goes on Trial; and legal legends lock horns in
Idaho in 1907.
The Rise of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) and Joe Hill's trial
and execution in Utah; 1905-1915
Southern Colorado Coal Field War and the Ludlow "massacre"; 1913-1914
Sounds of War
America enters World War I and loyalty becomes an issue; 1917
Butte, Montana and the lynching of Frank Little; 1912-1917
Cut Out the Cancer
Bisbee, Arizona and the great deportation of 1,200 union miners; 1917
possible by US WEST, the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation, the R. Harold
Burton Foundation, and NETA.