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Vol. 74/No. 1      January 4, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
January 11, 1985
PRICE, Utah—Nineteen members of United Mine Workers of America Local 2176, and eight company executives and foremen, were killed by a fire that started Dec. 19, 1984, at the Wilberg mine outside Orangeville, Utah. The mine is located in the main coal-producing region in the southeastern part of the state.

The bodies of the 26 men and one woman remain inside the mine despite attempts to rescue them. On December 23 rescue teams were evacuated from the mine on the order of federal mine inspectors as explosive gases reached a dangerous level. On December 29 the mine portals were sealed.

The dead miners were all working in a section of the mine where a longwall, the most modern and mechanized machine for producing coal, was in use. The company was attempting to achieve a 24-hour world production record at the time of the fire.  
January 4, 1960
Variations of the policy of “rewarding friends and punishing enemies,” has dominated the politics of American union leaders since the time of Samuel Gompers, when it was openly proclaimed as the policy best suited to the needs of the working people.

With the expansion of American industry, the growth of the unions, the increasing intervention of the government in labor-management disputes—especially with the advent of Roosevelt’s New Deal—the policy underwent a subtle transformation. Organized labor became part of a coalition within the Democratic party. To reward “friends” and punish “enemies” was transmuted into supporting Democrats as against Republicans for public office.

It is a matter of common knowledge that the labor-Democratic coalition has led to a series of defeats for the unions in the political arena.  
January 5, 1935
The Japanese denunciation of the Washington Naval Treaty at the close of 1934 was a bold stroke to overcome the obstacles placed in her way by American and British imperialism. The struggle for the markets and raw materials of the Orient, especially China, is of primary importance to these three powers. At the present juncture this struggle revolves around the question of the naval strength of the Big Three. With the rejection of the 5-5-3 ratio a new naval race begins. It will go a long way in determining who is to control the gateway to the Chinese waters.

If Japan succeeds with her naval policy a gigantic step forward in the further penetration of China is assured. But the United States will not concede, nor will Britain. Already we hear that the president plans to recommend increased naval and military appropriations. Japan’s aim is naval supremacy in the Eastern area.  
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