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Larry Gibson: Appalachia’s Lorax – September 11, 2012

Mountaintop removal forced people to consider what they wouldn’t sacrifice

Larry Gibson’s parents never worried about finding him, when, as a boy, he wandered out into the forest. All they had to do was spot the hawk that followed him from the air. That’s how close Gibson was to the West Virginia mountains.

Larry Gibson Photo by Bill KovarikLarry Gibson talks to journalism students in 2008 during one of the countless tours he offered to
visitors over the years.

He pined for those mountains after his family joined the exodus from Appalachia, moving to where the jobs were, into Ohio and Pennsylvania, in the 1950s. But finally, in the 1990s, he was able to move back… more

by: Bill Kovarik

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Mountaintop Removal Protest Echoes Historic Labor Battle – June 2, 2011

March Next Week Hopes to Save West Virginia’s Blair Mountain

The marchers who will take to the roads of West Virginia next week to try to stop the demolition of yet another mountain for the coal underneath will be following the same route that more than 10,000 well-armed miners took 90 years ago.

In 1921, miners marched to free the southwestern part of the state from the coal industry. Then they were stopped by a small army of heavily armed coal mine guards at Blair Mountain. During the next five days, the miners and company guards fought across the mountainside. Thirty men died. The Battle of Blair Mountain is known as the largest civil insurrection since the Civil War.

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by: Bill Kovarik

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