LOUIS TIKAS, LUDLOW MARTYR (poem; UMWJ, May 28, 1914)

The aftermath of the Ludlow Massacre, 1914

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Five striking miners were killed that day [Apr 20, 1914] by the militia's bullets. They were Charles Costa, Louis Tikas, Greek union leader, James Fyler, financial secretary of the Trinidad local union, Frank Rubino, and John Bartoloti.

The killing of Tikas was particularly cowardly and brutal.... Taken prisoner, his skull was cracked open with the butt end of a rifle and he was then shot. Fyler was also killed while a helpless, unarmed prisoner.

The gunmen-militia did not stop at slaughter and arson but turned ghouls, robbing tents and dead bodies of their valuables. Fyler had $300 in cash when he was shot, yet his pockets were empty when his body was found. Louis Tikas and the other dead lost trinkets and money. Mrs. Mary Thomas, a recent immigrant from Wales, was robbed off money and furnishings.

George Korson, Coal Dust on the Fiddle, Hatboro, PA, 1965, p. 387

Lyrics as reprinted ibid., pp. 390-391

Who knows what deeds on acient days
Gave impulse, yearnings, tendencies?
Who knows what blood flowed in his veins?
Perhaps the blood of Pericles.

He braved the assailants' iron might,
Their brutal hate, unbridled, wild;
His trust, the miners' naked home;
His care, the mother and her child.

And men in stress of coming days
Shall win by strength his spirit gives;
Who so for justice yield his life,
He, dying, yet, immortal lives.

Oh, Louis Tikas, gallant soul,
Defender of the helpless, weak;
Knight of humanity, you were
More than American or Greek.

Heroic spirits of all time
Attest your manhood's strong avail;
Extend warm hand-clasps as they cry:
"Good brother, noble comrade, hail!"

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LUDLOW MASSACRE (WOODY GUTHRIE) (c. 1944)

OUR CAUSE IS MARCHING ON (DAVIE ROBB) (1913)

WE'RE COMING, COLORADO (FRANK J. HAYES) (1913)

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