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Features

LocalLit book spotlight: 'Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909' by Jim Ridings

A visual account of an Illinois event that changed child labor laws in the U.S. and helped establish workman's compensation.
A visual account of an Illinois event that changed child labor laws in the U.S. and helped establish workman's compensation.

We love history at our house, so I was very happy when a review copy of "The Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909" arrived at The Herald-News office before the pandemic began.

It's this book I'll review Tuesday in the LocalLit newsletter.

Here is its abridged Amazon description: "Nov, 13, 1909 was like any other day for the 480 men who went into the coal mine at Cherry, Illinois, to begin another day's work. The mine at Cherry was just a few years old, and it was considered the safest mine in America.

However, within hours, a fire in the mine would take the lives of 259 men and boys. It would make widows of more than 100 women and orphans of 500 children. Eight days after the fire, 20 men emerged in a miraculous tale of survival.

The Cherry mine disaster remains the third worst coal mining disaster in United States history. But it brought about sweeping reform. It changed child labor laws in America and it resulted in the first workmen's compensation laws...This book provides the most comprehensive collection of these photographs which document this American tragedy.

Know more about LocalLit

Each week LocalLit will deliver an original short and family-friendly story (or a book review) by a local author to the newsletter's subscribers.  

Authors with a connection to our readership area may submit.  Submission does not guarantee acceptance.

To submit and for more information, contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 ordunland@shawmedia.com.

To sign up for the free LocalLit newsletter, visit theherald-news.com/newsletter/locallit/#//.

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