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Monongah Mine Disaster: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1907, the Monongah mine exploded and became "the worst mining disaster in American history." This guide provides access to materials related to the "Monongah Mine Disaster" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Worst mining disaster in history of America." December 7, 1907. The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

The Monongah Mine Disaster is widely considered to be the worst mine disaster in American history. On December 6, 1907, mines 6 and 8 of the Monongah Mine in West Virginia suffered a devastating explosion. The explosion destroyed much of the mine as well as the surface. It killed most miners instantly and trapped others below, making rescue attempts difficult and dangerous. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


December 6, 1907 Around 10:00 am, an explosion rocked mines 6 and 8, killing hundreds instantly, and trapping the over 300 survivors.
December 7, 1907 Damage to ventilation systems hamper rescue operations.
December 12, 1907 Newspaper estimates of 400 to 500 dead.