PUEBLO, Colo. - Next Sunday marks the 100-year anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre.
About two dozen striking coal miners and their families were killed by members of the Colorado National Guard and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company on April 20, 1914.
Stories and pictures of the Ludlow Massacre fill the walls at the El Pueblo History Museum. But most people probably never heard about it in history class.
"The story of Ludlow has been preserved in private homes at kitchen tables, from you know granddaughter to grandmother and that's the way the story has been preserved," said Dawn DiPrince, director of the museum.
DiPrince has made it her mission to make sure this piece of history is preserved for generations to come.
"I've been working on this for several years and I kept thinking at some point I'm going to become numb to the sadness of this story and I just haven't yet," she said. "I probably get choked up at least once a day when I think about the children and the women that were in that tent cellar."
On April 20, 1914, 11 children crowded into a cellar underneath a tent to protect themselves from a fire raging above them. They died from suffocation.
"We remember that very sad, tragic event. But it's even bigger than that," DiPrince said.
Out of the Ludlow Massacre grew the first modern-day labor union, DiPrince said. Workers fought for eight-hour work days and for safe working conditions.
"It very much, I think, defines who the people of southern Colorado have been and currently are and will continue to be," she said.
For DiPrince, remembering Ludlow is about honoring all of those who died and the sacrifices they made.
For information on events commemorating the Ludlow Massacre, visit: http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/Communications/Media/PressReleases/2014/Pages/04-04-2014-2.aspx