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PMWA
Progressive Mine Workers of America
Progressive Miners of America
PMA

      The Progressive Miners of America ( PMA ) was organized on September 1, 1932 in Gillespie, Macoupin County, Illinois and continued until 1999.
 
      The following pages contain some of the history surrounding the Progressive Mine Workers of America, as compiled through newspaper items and various other sources. A violent and trying time during the early years of this union through most of Illinois is seen by these accounts.
1932 Convention Photo
Photograph Courtesy of : John Fritsche
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Highlights
History of Progressive Miners of America / Progressive Mine Workers of America
  • Introduction
     
  • Constitution of District 1, Organized Sept. 1, 1932 ~ Adpoted Oct. 8, 1932
     
  • Early 1932 - in the months prior to forming the Progressive Miners of America
     
  • September 1, 1932 - Organizing the Progressive Miners of America
     
  • Progressive Miners of America and United Mine Workers of America fight over who is to represent Coal Miners in Illinois.
  • Bombings, Explosions, Riots, Shootings, Mayhem & Murder during the first few years.
     
    September 1932
  • September 7, 1932 - Four hundred striking miners from central Illinois invaded the Grundy county coal fields.
     
  • September 16, 1932 - Progressive Union Pickets Five Mines In Coal Battles.
     
  • September 20, 1932 - Strikers Refused Admittance to Christian County.
     
  • October 1932
  • October 4, 1932 - National Guard Rushed to Scene of Mine Flareup.
     
  • October 11, 1932 - Protesting Members of Mining Unions Routed by Gas.
     
  • October 16, 1932 - Andrew Ganis, a Tovey miner whose death brought him the title of martyr, to Progressive miners.
     
  • October 18, 1932 - Thwart Plot to Bomb Troops -- Taylorville Downtown is Armed Camp.
     
  • November 1932
  • November 19, 1932 - Masked Men Badly Beat Three Miners at Kincaid, Illinois.
     
  • November 26, 1932 - Bomb Homes of Union Miners.
     
  • November 29, 1932 - Dan McGill, progressive miners union leader, held in the Christian County Jail.
     
  • December 1932
  • December 15, 1932 - Pearcy and Keck Are Nominated by New Mine Union.
     
  • December 19, 1932 - Crack Heads at Three Mines.
     
  • December 29, 1932 - DuQuoin Miners Bolt United Mine Union; Join Progressives.
     
  • 1933
    January 1933
  • January 4, 1933 - Lead Splatters Through Streets of Kincaid and Two Killed.
     
  • January 10, 1933 - Bomb Wrecks Kincaid Grocery.
     
  • February 1933
  • February 2, 1933 - Benton Miners Get Six Months Term From Circuit Judge.
     
  • February 25, 1933 - Springfield Mine Pickets Waylay & Attack Workers - 1 shot, nearly 20 injured, 10 in Jail.
     
  • March 1933
  • March 1, 1933 - Miner Shot On His Way To Work. - Miner's Home Bombed.
     
  • March 3, 1933 - Three Mine Pickets Treated for Wounds Received in Battle.
     
  • March 5, 1933 - Thirteen Arrested at West Frankfort.
     
  • March 25, 1933 - Three Miners Wounded in Southern Illinois War.
     
  • March 27, 1933 - Three Fall, One Dead.
     
  • March 28, 1933 - One Miner Killed, Two Wounded In Fight.
     
  • March 30, 1933 - Arrest Mayor in Connection With Blaze in Ziegler, Franklin County.
     
  • April 1933
  • April 7, 1933 - One Hurt, Three Killed, including a 14-year-old Girl, in Perry County, Illinois.
     
  • April 16, 1933 - Three Charged With Girl's Murder.
     
  • April 23, 1933 - The twenty-ninth bomb thrown in Taylorville.
     
  • April 29, 1933 - Five Hundred Mine Pickets Clash With National Guards; Tear Gas Burns One Man.
     
  • June 1933
  • June 28, 1933 - Two Places At Harrisburg Are Damaged by Bombs.
     
  • July 1933
  • July 25, 1933 - Five Buildings Bombed; Man Shot.
     
  • August 1933
  • August 11, 1933, - Four Get Life, One Gets 40 Years For Murdering Girl.
     
  • October 1933
  • October 5, 1933 - Bullets Fly At Harrisburg.
     
  • October 18, 1933 - Miners' March on Capital Set for October 19, 1933.
     
  • October 29, 1933 - Bomb Explodes In Front Yard of Miner's Home.
     
  • December 1933
  • December 24, 1933 - 4 Persons Shot as Taylorville "War" is Revisited.
     
  • 1934
    January 1934
  • January 4, 1934 - Federal Probe Mine War Launched Today.
     
  • January 15, 1934 - Trouble Brewing Again at Taylorville, Governor Ready to Dispatch Troops.
     
  • January 18, 1934 - Headquarters of the Progressive Miners union at Kincaid bombed.
     
  • April 1934
  • April 19, 1934 - One miner killed and five others wounded.
     
  • May 1934
  • May 9, 1934 - Two Mines Dynamited.
     
  • November 1934
  • November 4, 1934 - Two Strikers Wounded in Macon County Mine Clash.
     
  • 1935
    January 1935
  • January 12, 1935 - Trains Bombed in Mine War.
     
  • February 1935
  • February 9, 1935 - 13 Murders - Murder Stalks the Coal Field.
     
  • February 21, 1935 - Murder Conviction of Five Miners.
     
  • February 22, 1935 - Miner Demands $200,000 From P. M. A. in Lawsuit.
     
  • March 1935
  • March 8, 1935 - Five Indicted In Mine War.
     
  • March 12, 1935 - Belleville Miners Seized in Kentucky.
     
  • April 1935
  • April 23, 1935 - UMWA Head Charged with Murder.
     
  • July 1935
  • July 3, 1935 - Rival Union Miners Fight in Harrisburg; One Is Held.
     
  • September 1935
  • September 28, 1935 - P. M. A. Leader Held for Shooting U. M. W. Miner.
     
  • 1936
    September 1936
  • September 16, 1936 - Possible affiliation of the Progressive Miners of America with the American Federation of Labor.
     
  • October 1936
  • October 11, 1936 - Progressive Miners of America Dedicate Mother Jones Monument at Mt. Olive.
     
  • December 1936
  • December 12, 1936 - Sheriff Arrested in Federal Probe of Mine Bombing.
     
  • 1937
    The Progressive Miners of America Made National Headlines by a Sit-down Strike at Superior Coal Company Mine No. 4. at Wilsonville in Macoupin County, Illinois
     
    The Progressive Miners of America suffered a crucial blow in 1937 when 39 members were indicted in federal court on anti-racketeering charges
     
    May 1936
  • May 20, 1937 - Progressive Miners of America join American Federation of Labor.
     
  • May 22, 1937 - 457 Striking Illinois Miners, 360 Feet Down at Superior Coal Company Mine No. 4. in Wilsonville.
     
  • May 28, 1937 - Became International Union, Progressive Mine Workers of America.
     
  • May 29, 1937 - Miners End 200 Hour Strike Underground.
     
  • September 1937
  • September 14, 1937 - 39 Are on Trial for Bombing of Trains.
     
  • November 1937
  • November 23, 1937 - Sells Dynamite to Miners; Benld Merchant Testifies against Accused Bombers.
     
  • November 25, 1937 - Miner Testifies at Bomb Trial; Says He was Offered $1,000 to Blow Up Mine in 1933.
     
  • December 1937
  • December 29, 1937 - Convicted Miners Get Maximum Penalty.
     
  • 1938
    January 1938
  • January 14, 1938 - Federal Judge Awards Coal Company $117,000. in Lawsuit Case.
     
  • March 1938
  • March 19, 1938 - Judge Vacates Order; $117,000 Damages Against PMA Union Withdrawn.
     
  • Between May and September of 1938
    the Progressive Miners of America becomes the Progressive Mine Workers of America
     
  • 1940
    December 1940
  • December 25, 1940 - Governor Frees 5 Convicted Slayers.
     
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    History of
    Progressive Miners of America
    Progressive Mine Workers of America
    Some of the People of the Progressive Miners
    Page 1 PMA in 1932
    Page 2 PMA in 1933
    Page 3 PMA in 1934 & 1935
    Page 4 PMA in 1936 & 1937
    Page 5 PMWA in 1938 to 1999
     
    Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois
     

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