|THE LUDLOW MASSACRE
Prelude to the Massacre
he massacre was preceded by
a period of increasing tensions. Based on their experience of past strikes,
the UMWA leadership sought to keep the strike peaceful in order to avoid
the state calling out the militia. In contrast, the coal companies wanted
the militia to be called out. The coal companies and their private detectives
(the Baldwin-Felts Company from West Virginia) initiated a campaign of harassment
in order to goad the strikers into violence. This campaign included shooting
up tent colonies with the "Death Special," an improvised armored car, lighting
up the tent colonies with searchlights at night, and intimidating strikers
and their sympathizers.
The "Death Special." This was an improvised armored car
built by private detectives using the CFI plant in Pueblo.
The "Death Special." This was an improvised armored car built by private detectives using the CFI plant in Pueblo.
|A "Black Hand" letter written to a striker sympathizer.|