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Harlan County Mine Strike Photographic Collection,1939

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Processed by: Staff, Jason Flahardy; machine-readable finding aid created by:Jason Flahardy


Harlan County Mine Strike Photographic Collection




University of Kentucky Special Collections

Lexington, Kentucky 40506

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Harlan County Mine Strike Photographic Collection, 81PA109,Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


.25 cu. ft. (1 box): 22 items


In 1939, a general strike was in effect in Harlan County, Kentucky, and all mining operations among the numerous coal companies were shut down. On May15th, 1939, some 900 Kentucky National Guard, under the command of General Ellerbe Carter, was ordered by Governor A. B. "Happy" Chandler to Harlan to intervene between striking miners and mine operators. The National Guard contingent was viewed by some as a peace-keeping force and by others as a move to break the strike. The National Guard remained in the county for nine months.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of twenty-two black and white sliver prints of Kentucky National Guardsmen and Harlan County mine workers during a strike in 1939.


  • Coal mines and mining--Kentucky
  • Harlan County (Ky.)--History
  • Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining--Kentucky--Harlan County
  • Coal miners--Kentucky--Harlan County
  • Trade-unions--Kentucky

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.

Related Material

Day, John F. . Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1941.

Forester, William D. . [S.L.] : Forester, 1986.

Hevener, John W. . Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1978.

Titler, George J. . Beckley, WV: BJW Printers, 1972.

Woolley, Bryan and Ford Reid. . Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1975.

Collection Inventory

Three National Guardsmen at a table, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0001] browse
Nine miners sitting in a coal mine, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0002] browse
National Guardsmen on a hillside, overlooking a road, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0003] browse
National Guardsmen around an outdoor fire, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0004] browse
Strings of empty coal cars on railroad tracks, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0005] browse
A crowd of miners lined up to pick up lunch, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0006] browse
Miners on a mining cart leaving a mine entrance, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0007] browse
A crowd of men and women walking on a road with cars parked at the side, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0008] browse
Miners leaving a mine entrance in a cart with police watching, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0009] browse
National Guardsmen watching a crowd of miners blocking a road, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0010] browse
A crowd of miners blocking a road, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0011] browse
A crowd of miners confronting soldiers, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0012] browse
National Guardsmen dismounting from trucks at an assembly point, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0013] browse
Troops confronting miners on a railroad track, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0014] browse
A National Guardsmen talking with an elderly man, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0015] browse
A crowd of miners in the bed of a truck, under guard, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0016] browse
A line of miners with troops leading them, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0017] browse
A grinning miner surrounded by National Guardsmen, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0018] browse
An officer reading some document to three men, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0019] browse
National Guardsmen and civilians talking, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0020] browse
Two women with an injured man, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0021] browse
National Guardsmen at a trestle, 1939
[Box: 1, item: 0022] browse