Coal Wars | Charles Keeney on Restoring His Great Grandfather’s Legacy | 5

Coal Wars | Charles Keeney on Restoring His Great Grandfather’s Legacy | 5

Once the coal miners lost the Battle of Blair Mountain, the story of their uprising was suppressed, and their leader Frank Keeney eventually faded into obscurity—even among members of his own family. But historian Charles Keeney, Frank Keeney’s great grandson, has made it a personal mission to raise public awareness of the mine wars and the pivotal role his ancestor played. 

Charles Keeney is the founder of the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum and author of The Road to Blair Mountain: Saving a Mine Wars Battlefield from King Coal. He’s also the vice president of Friends of Blair Mountain, an organization dedicated to the preservation and development of the Blair Mountain Battlefield site. He and Lindsay discuss the circumstances that led to Frank Keeney’s radicalization, his friendship with Mother Jones, and why the miners’ uprising resonates with younger generations today. 

For more on Charles Keeney: 

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