A few days ago marked the 47th anniversary of the CONSOL No. 9 Mine disaster, which killed 78 West Virginia miners on Nov. 20, 1968. The sheer number of deaths would be shocking today. But at the time, this type of disaster was sadly all too common in the mining industry. In fact, a total of 311 coal miners died in the U.S. that year.
But this time, people, including widows of the victims, took action. Their lobbying efforts led to “profound changes in mine safety,” as the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog recently put it.