Coal War in the Mahoning Valley: The Origin of Greater Youngstown's Italians

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The struggles and successes of the industrious coal miners in Ohio's Mahoning Valley. Year after year, local Welsh coal diggers supplied the ravenous and roaring ironworks in Mahoning Valley but the good times ended in the closing weeks of 1872. The demand for iron slackened, and with it, coal orders fell. Responding to plunging coal prices, mine owners cut wages, but rank-and-file miners would have none of it. On New Year’s Day, they went on strike. The bitter stalemate broke only when operators sidestepped local labor by employing African Americans from Virginia and Italian immigrants crowding the Eastern Seaboard. Violence followed. Yet this vicious strife opened the Mahoning Valley to permanent Italian settlement. Authors Ben Lariccia and Joe Tucciarone uncover this forgotten chapter in the region’s storied labor history.
ISBN: 9781467142724
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Ohio
Series: American Heritage
Images: 43
Pages: 208
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Ben Lariccia, a native of Youngstown, is a public historian and writer in the area of Italian American history. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree in bilingual/bicultural education from La Salle University. For thirty years, he taught in the School District of Philadelphia. Ben is a contributing writer at the La Gazzetta Italiana newspaper. His work is also published in print and online by the Italian group Amici di Capracotta. He is a member of the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia and the Italian American Studies Association. Joe Tucciarone was born in Youngstown and raised in nearby Hubbard. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Youngstown State University and a master’s degree from the University of Toledo. In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Youngstown State University. His astronomical animations have appeared in dozens of Discovery and National Geographic Channel documentaries, and his illustrations enhance the covers of several books, including When the Sun Dies and Night Comes to the Cretaceous. La Gazzetta Italiana recently published Joe’s article “The First Italians in Trumbull County, Ohio.”
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