Tag Archives: Harlan KY

They made their money on the big chunks of coal

“Coal is like layers in a layer cake. And where you’ve got it cut by erosion by the valleys, why, it’s just in fingers, and these fingers went miles and miles back in there. Six or seven miles to the back side of the property. And then they retreated the mine back almost to the […]

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Criminal Syndicalism comes to Harlan, KY

In November 1931, as chairman of the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners, well known author Theodore Dreiser organized a special committee to infiltrate Kentucky’s Harlan coal mines to investigate allegations of crimes and abuses against striking miners. The self-appointed group of left-leaning writers (including Theodore Dreiser, Lewis Mumford, John Dos Passos, and […]

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World’s oldest man — Kentuckian John Shell

He never wore shoes much and chewed tobacco inveterately. He grew 3 sets of teeth during his long life, he claimed. And when he died on July 5, 1922, his oldest child was 99 years old and his youngest only seven. Other men in the mountains lived to advanced ages, but none ever came close […]

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