DENVER — Friday, April 19, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed an Executive Order creating the Ludlow Centennial Commemoration Commission. The commission will raise awareness of the events known as the Ludlow Massacre, which happened on April 20, 1914, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of these tragic events.
“The commission shall engage in efforts to raise awareness of the tragedy at Ludlow and the events surrounding it; to explore the themes that underscore the Ludlow Massacre and the Colorado Coalfield War, including: economy, immigration, labor, energy, culture, geography, geology, and violence. In addition, the commission shall examine how this localized history impacted national and international labor relations and energy production, and continues to have modern-day relevance; and to make available the historical and archaeological resources from the events of 1913-1914. Also, to expand community outreach so that the stories of the individuals involved in these incidents can be heard and finally to reconcile the past and reflect on its relationship to the State of Colorado and the United States today,” the Executive Order states.
The commission members include:
In September of 1913, the Great Coalfield War began when striking miners were evicted by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company (CF&I) from their company-owned homes and moved into tents along the 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 National Guard. This event, labeled the Ludlow Massacre, ended with the death of more than 20 people, which included a National Guard soldier, 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.
A copy of the Executive Order is linked here.