Alan Grayson sent out an email about this. He asked: “Now let me ask you one thing: had you ever heard of this landmark event in American history, the Battle of Blair Mountain, before you read this? And if not, then why not? Think about that.”

“The Battle of Blair Mountain was one of the largest civil uprisings in United States history and the largest armed rebellion since the American Civil War.[1] For five days in late August and early September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers [goons], called the Logan Defenders,[2]who were backed by coal mine operators during an attempt by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields. The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired,[3] and the United States Army intervened by presidential order….

In the long-term, the battle raised awareness of the appalling conditions faced by miners in the dangerous West Virginia coalfields, and led directly to a change in union tactics in political battles to get the law on labor’s side via confrontations with recalcitrant and abusive managements and thence to the much larger organized labor victory a few years later during the New Deal in 1933. That in turn led to the UMWA helping organize many better-known unions such as the Steel Workers during the mid-thirties….”   (source: wikipedia)