Peter Kalis


On December 21, 1972, Arnold Miller, a retired coal miner from Ohley, West Virginia, was sworn in as President of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW). The brief ceremony conducted by Federal Judge William Bryant climaxed an insurgent effort begun within the UMW three and one-half years before by Joseph A. "Jock" Yablonski. On May 29, 1969, Yablonski had risked his position as a UMW International Executive Board member to announce as a reform-oriented candidate for the union's presidency. No one then knew better than Jock Yablonski that the incumbent president, W. A. ''Tony" Boyle, would stop at nothing to succeed in his reelection bid. And no one knew better than Yablonski the magnitude of the task he and his reform-minded followers were undertaking. Yet none of those involved in the early stages of the insurgency could possibly have foreseen the events that would follow.

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