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Slain IWW Leader’s Memory Lives on in Montana

Mountain View Cemetery here. “That gravesite is its own little museum at times, because people leave marvelous things there,” Ellen Crain, director of the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, told NBC Montana. Little had come to Butte after the Granite Mountain Speculator Mine disaster in June 1917, a fire that killed 168 miners, some from lack of oxygen after they were trapped underground for more than 24 hours. But on the night of Aug. 1-2, masked men broke into his room in a boarding house, dragged him out, and hanged him from a railroad trestle. Today, people regularly leave work boots, union hats, and coins on his grave — and every few weeks, a bottle of whiskey. Cemetery groundskeepers say the bottles have been left there since the 1970s, but they empty them out because teenagers were coming to the grave to drink them. Little’s epitaph reads “Slain by capitalist interests for organizing and inspiring his fellow men.” Read more

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