GSC News

Labor History Expert Wess Harris to Speak at GSC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 1, 2014

For more information:
Bob Henry Baber
Public Relations Specialist
Glenville State College
(304) 462-6390
Bob.Baber@glenville.edu

GLENVILLE WV – Labor history expert Wess Harris will give a free lecture at Glenville State College on Tuesday, April 15th at 12:30 p.m. The presentation will take place in the GSC Heflin Administration Building Presidents Auditorium.

“‘When Miners March’ chronicles the West Virginia Mine Wars of the 1920s and offers a first-hand account of the coal miners’ uprisings and labor unrest during that tumultuous time period.  I’m excited at the prospect of speaking to students and the wider community at Glenville State and to answering questions they may pose about Bill Blizzard and his writings,” said Harris.

Harris is the editor of Bill Blizzard’s ‘When Miners March’ and ‘Dead Ringers.’ The books, complete with previously unpublished family photographs and documents, retell the experiences of Blizzard who was the leader of the ‘Red Neck Army’ of unionizing miners. The tensions between the union and the coal companies that led up to the famous Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest open and armed rebellion in United States history since the Civil War, are described in detail as are its aftermath and legacy. Harris also offers ‘Truth Tours’ of the coal fields that tend to explore and explode myths perpetrated by those more interested in coal than coal miners.

In his ‘When Miners March Traveling Museum,’ Harris keeps some of the most important collections of Union artifacts in existence and shares them with students, residents of the coal fields, and people interested in the human costs of extracting coal.

“Enthusiasm can’t be taught; it has to be caught. I’m confident Harris’ passion for relating the historic struggles of West Virginia coal miners will be an exciting learning opportunity for my students, the community, and the public,” said Dr. Chuck Batson, GSC Associate Professor of Business and Chair of the Department of Business.

Harris studied at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in the 1970s and currently teaches labor history and environmental issues to university students around the country. The farmer and certified miner resides in Gay (Roane County), West Virginia.

For more information about Harris’ lecture, which is free and open to the public, contact Batson at Dorman.Batson@glenville.edu or call (304) 462-6254.

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