December 6 is National Miners Day, a day dedicated to honoring the contributions and sacrifices of the nation’s miners, past and present.
Congress made December 6 National Miners Day in 2009.
The day is also a reminder of the worst mining disaster in the country’s history. On December 6, 1907, explosions ripped through the No. 6 and No. 8 mines in Monongah, West Virginia, killing 362 men and boys.
The disaster led to new safety regulations and the creation of the Bureau of Mines in 1910. The bureau would later become the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 191,000 people are employed by the mining industry and about 364,000 are employed in mining support. In recent years, the number of employed coal miners has plummeted due to an industry downturn.
Here is the resolution that designated December 6 as National Miners Day:
Designating December 6, 2009, asNational Miners Day.
Whereas the foundations of civilization are constructed from, advanced by, and sustained with, the materials procured with the sweat and blood of miners;
Whereas the miners of the United States have labored long and hard over our Nation’s existence to make it the economically strong, militarily secure Nation that it is today;
Whereas miners and their families have achieved, provided, and sacrificed so much for the betterment of their fellow Americans;
Whereas miners have struggled, in their lives and in their work, to obtain health and safety protections;
Whereas the terrible mining tragedy at Monongah, West Virginia, that occurred on December 6, 1907, is recognized for causing the greatest loss of lives in American industrial history, and this tragedy helped to launch the national effort to secure the safety and health of our miners that continues to this day; and
Whereas miners still today risk life and limb in their labors: Now, therefore, be it
That the Senate—
(1) designates December 6, 2009, asNational Miners Day, in appreciation, honor, and remembrance of the accomplishments and sacrifices of the miners of the Nation; and
(2) encourages the people of the United States to participate in local and national activities celebrating and honoring the contributions of miners.