A day of festivity was followed by one of the darkest in American Labor history.
The state militia was on guard
Because tensions between the strikers and the company had been steadily escalating, the state militia was stationed on Water Tank Hill to observe the colony's activities.
Just a day before the massacre, the colonists enjoyed an Easter celebration.
April 19, 1914, was Greek Orthodox Easter. The entire colony, along with some militiamen, commemorated the holiday with a feast, followed by dancing, singing and a baseball game.
Violence erupted the next morning.
Most of the camp slept late after their big celebration. Around 9 a.m., an explosion triggered an exchange of gunfire between the miners and the militia. The battle lasted throughout the day. Armed miners defended their positions, while women and children hid in the tents until they could evacuate the colony. In the afternoon, a train stopped on the tracks between the militia and the miners. This interrupted the exchange of gunfire long enough for most of the women and children to escape into the surrounding hills. At dusk, the militia entered the camp and set fire to the tents.
Top right: Members of the Colorado National Guard, called in to suppress the UMWA against CF&I, including Sergeant John Davis, pose near an automatic rifle on a tripod on Water Tank Hill
Top left: View of basketball game at the Ludlow UMWA camp
Bottom left: Ludlow Fire Horror - newspaper article
Bottom right: Men and women of the Red Cross stand in the ruins of the Ludlow Tent Colony after the fire