Huge Labor Disputes Sparked the Wyoming Rock Springs Massacre
It was the stench of death that pervaded in Rock Springs, Wyoming on a cool September day in the year 1885. That day is now marked as the Rock Springs Massacre.
It's what happens when mankind looks beyond humanity and hones in on pride, position and money. That is exactly what had been brewing in the coal mines among white and Chinese workers.
600 Chinese coal miners were told that they were on their way to San Francisco, but instead, they ended up in Rock Springs, Wyo. The tensions were high and moral low on that day in September when the train doors opened and the Chinese men were let off.
Because the Chinese were willing to work for less wages than the white men, mining companies hired them to accomplish that which the white men had been doing all along.
Labor strikes had been going on for the past 10 years or so, and the tension was about ready to break. And break it did.
On the morning of Sept. 2, near Mine Number 6, a fight broke out between the white man and the Chinese man, near the railroad tracks in Rock Springs. Mobs of white laborers got together and shot many Chinese men.
Saloon doors closed as pandemonium ran wild. Those Chinese workers who survived described the scene as bodies all over, mangled and decomposing. Dogs were seen eating the carcasses of Chinese remains.
Labor disputes are a bit more civil nowadays, but in the past, they were sometimes bloody and, in the case of the Rock Springs Massacre, even deadly.