Ludlow 100

Ludlow Centennial Commemoration

Ludlow 100

AftermathWebThe History

In September 1913, the Colorado Coalfield War began when coal companies evicted striking miners from their company-owned homes. Miners and their families moved into union-provided tents along the high Colorado plains.

At the height of this conflict, on the morning of April 20, 1914, a skirmish broke out between striking miners and the Colorado State militia. This event, labeled the Ludlow Massacre, ended with the deaths of over 20 people, which included a guardsman, miners, and their wives and children. The death of children at the Ludlow Tent Colony thrust the Coalfield War into the media spotlight, with national scrutiny focused on the Rockefellers, who were majority shareholders in CF & I. In the aftermath of this tragedy, the Rockefellers and CF & I developed an employee representation plan that transformed industrial worker-company relations.

The Commemoration

To mark the 100th anniversary of these tragic events, a diverse group from around Colorado – including historians, scholars, union members, the Colorado National Guard, archaeologists, tourism representatives, etc. – have worked together to plan commemoration activities, exhibitions and events to commemorate the Colorado Coalfield War and the Ludlow Massacre.

5 thoughts on “Ludlow 100

  1. Congratulations on the site! My name is Bob Reed. I am the author of “The Red-Winged Blackbird,” a novel about the life of miners, union organizing for the strike, the walkout, the massacre and the war that followed. The story is a fictionalized account of what it was like mining coal and fighting for the right to do that safely. It is rich with dialogue and makes for excellent oral readings. My wife and I are extremely interested in participating in any of the events and activities commemorating the strike and the massacre. We would especially like to participate in the events on Sept. 21-22 and the big event on May 18, 2014. We can give readings from the novel and stage interactive workshops on converting fact to fiction. We’d also like to set up a display table and sell books. Please keep us in mind for your programs. You may contact us at or by phone: 254-797-0211.

  2. I will be visiting the Ludlow area from the 27th till the 29th. Can you please tell me if there are any tours or maps of the old coal mines, or any other literature explaining the area? Thank you very much!

  3. I am the granddaughter of Philip S Van Cise and am very much aware of the Ludlow history. I amok only proud to know that my grandfather hated what happened and wanted all of those responsible prosecuted. I am planning on attending the commemoration ceremonies to learn more about those brave men that revolted against the mining industry in the first place.
    Cindy Van Cise

    • Cindy, hope you will read novel The Red-Winged Blackbird by Bob Reed, which is in itself a commemorative to the brave people who participated in the Ludlow Massacre and throws light on the critical role that women played in the bravery exhibited.

  4. It’s impossible to talk about the Ludlow mine war without talking about the second war in 1927 that encompassed both the northern and southern fields and resulted in further massacre, further armed conflict and finally the recognition of independent union representation. The best summation of this is our book Slaughter in Serene, the story of the Columbine strike, ensuing massacre by state militias, and then the eventual settlement. Led by the Industrial Workers of the World, set between Lafayette and Erie, carried on and recalled in the 1989 historical events, and expanded to appreciate the role of women in the struggles — this was the culmination of the Colorado coalfield wars.

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