Today is the deadline for comments to be heard concerning Blair Mountain in West Virginia, being set aside as a historical landmark or whether the coal operators will level Blair Mountain.
It’s a fight that has gone on for a long time, even after the initial battle there in 1921. If you are not familiar with Blair Mountain, here is a synopsis.
According to the opening paragraph of the account in Wikipedia, Blair Mountain was the site of one of the “largest labor uprisings in United States history and one of the largest, best-organized, and most well-armed uprisings since the American Civil War.”
Back in 2016, my friend Steve Gilly, the co-host of “Stories: A History of Appalachia”, and I recorded a podcast about Blair Mountain and the history of this significant event.
In the coming weeks, I may have a guest blogger here on “Appalachian Chained” discussing their opinion and take away from Stephen King and his son Owen’s new collaboration, “Sleeping Beauties”.
You may ask, what does Stephen and Owen King and their new book “Sleeping Beauties” have to do with Appalachia? Plenty, if what I have seen from some of the excerpts from this novel.
According to the publisher, the book is “set in a future Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison. A disturbing phenomenon occurs (what else could happen in a King novel) when women in the town go to sleep. They become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. When awoken, “the women become feral and spectacularly violent.”
Now let me remind you. I haven’t read the book but a good friend who loves Stephen King and reading, is going through the book now and she has pulled out sections and excerpts from the book that have made me raise an eyebrow, get a little angry and also made my blood boil due to stereotypes as viewed by the New England based writer and his son, with the older King famous for such properties as “Salem’s Lot”, “Christine”, “The Stand” and of course, “It”.
For some of you fellow history buffs, here’s some dates for you.
On this date, in 1789, Thomas Jefferson was appointed the first Secretary of State of the United States of America.
In 1890, the United States stops minting $1.00 & $3.00 gold coin and the 3 cent piece (maybe because of my great-great grandfather, Brandy Jack and his early counterfeiting, who knows…).
In 1892, the first public appearance of John Philip Sousa’s band and a lot of stuff happened on September 26th during the years prior and during World War II. There’s way too much to type.
In 1961, Roger Maris hit his 60th home run off Jack Fisher, tying Babe Ruth’s record (Coincidentally, Maris would not hit his 61st home run until October 1, 1961, off fellow Appalachian and Coeburn, VA native, Tracy Stallard ).
After spending part of the weekend at the Breaks Interstate Park for the “Tales of the Cumberlands” event, I came away with an even greater love for my roots in Appalachia.
I got to spend Friday with my wife for nearly the entire day and then on Saturday, I made the return trip to the Breaks by myself but taking a different route than the traditional Wise to Clintwood to Haysi to the Breaks route. I decided to take the Kentucky route this time.
The Kentucky route is scenic, eye opening, depressing and forces you to be reflective, all in the same journey.