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450 S Michigan Ave, AUD 1851
Chicago IL 60605
United States


Illinois Labor History Society


Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster - Karen Tintori

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Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster - Karen Tintori


On November 13, 1909, a fire trapped 480 coal miners--men and boys--400 feet below ground in a mine at Cherry, Illinois. Only 221 escaped. Not until the following March were the bodies retrieved and buried. Hundreds of women were widowed and nearly 500 children were orphaned in what was the worst coal mine fire in U.S. history. The author's grandfather survived by a quirk of fate: a hangover keeping him home from work that day. Tintori describes the life-and-death struggle of the miners below ground and the terror of the women and children gathered at the mine's entrance, praying for their loved ones. She draws on firsthand accounts of survivors, government inquiries and reports, legal correspondence, photographs (there are 14 black-and-white ones in the book), newspaper accounts, pamphlets, court reporters' transcripts of testimony taken at the coroner's inquest, commemorative programs, and memorabilia. Tintori's graphic account of this tragedy is a sad but gripping story.

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