St. James Healthcare has developed and formalized an intensive wound care center to meet the needs of the Butte community and surrounding areas. The center offers an array of comprehensive products and services which include 2 new hyperbaric oxygen chambers, a multi-disciplinary team that includes Dr. Aufiero, Vascular and Thoracic surgeon, nurse practitioner, physicians’ assistant, dietitians, diabetic educators, and physical therapists. It takes every one of these people on this team to get these wounds healed and keep them healed.
by Diane Larson
The mention of May Day conjures up images of young girls with flowers in their hair, holding fast to colorful ribbons that are attached to a pole as they frolic in circles weaving the bands of color around and around the maypole.
We also think of May baskets filled with flowers that will be left on a door step by a secret admirer or dear friend. This day meant spring and we celebrated the day similarly to the way early pagans had done.
What we don’t think of, is rioting in the streets, a random bomb going off in acrowd, then shots being fired into that crowd.
May Day, otherwise known as International Workers Day, May 1, is a day to commemoratethe struggles of the working class all over the world. Oddly enough, the day is not recognized in the United States, even though it began here in the 1880s.
The foundation of this day can be found in the American labor movement of the late nineteenth century. It is linked to the nationwide struggle for the eight-hour work day and the anarchists movement in Chicago. There seems to be an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated only in communist countries.
In the late nineteenth century the factories and mills that had erupted during the industrial age were going strong. The working conditions for the working class were dreadful. Most people were working 10 to 16 hour days in conditions that were unhealthy and unsafe. Severe illness from these conditions and even death was not uncommon. The working class of the day included adults and children alike. Many children worked in these mills and factories because families needed the money and the companies didn’t have to pay children as much as they paid the adults.
In 1867, in Illinois, the first mass labor protest on May Day took place. The intent was to celebrate the mandated eight-hour work day. But when employers refused to abide by this new law, events took a bad turn. Rebellion started and thepolice (who were, at the time, men that were in the employ of the employers) took over. The eight-hour work day law went unenforced and the movement flattened.
However the cry for the eight-hour work day would not be silenced and would keep resurfacing. The eight-hour work day would happen.
The Federation of Organized Trades andLabor Unions, in October of 1884, unanimously set May 1, 1886 as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard. As the date got closer and closer it became apparent that employers were not going to adhere to the demand of the eight-hour day. So, the plans began for a general strike, set for the deadline date.
It was a Saturday in 1886 on the first of May when thousands of workers across the United States walked off the job. Rallies were held and the cry throughout the entire United States was “Eight-hour day with no cut in pay.” It is estimated that anywhere from 300,000 to half a million strikers across the United States were active in the walk-off.
The epicenter of the movement was Chicago. In that city alone some 30,000 to 40,000 workers were on strike. Many more civilians joined the activities in the street. They marched. There is an estimate that as many as 80,000 people followed socialist, Albert Parsons, who was the founder of the International Working People’s Association (IWPA) Parson’s was joined by his wife Lucy and their children as he walked down Michigan Avenue.
Speeches by the anarchists and socialists of the day, people like Parsons and August
Spies, were creating anxious momentum in the strikers. Anxieties were building in the employers as well; worry and fear flled the masses.
Then, on May 3, the striking workers, in Chicago met near the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. McCormick had been using strikebreakers in place of the plant workers. August Spies, while speaking at the rally cautioned strikers to “hold together, to stand by their union or they would not succeed.” For the most part these three days had been relatively non-violent.
Yet, the end of the work day bell rang at McCormick. Striking workers rushed the gates to confront the strike breakers. Spies tried to calm the strikers, but his shouts went unnoticed. Police fired into the crowds. Two people were killed and several injured. This only served to fuel the anxious emotions already further.
A mass meeting was then called for the next day in the Haymarket Square to protest the police brutality from the McCormick rally. Two fliers were printed to announce this meeting. The first one had the word REVENGE in bold letters across the top. The second one, the one that would get distributed said, “MASS-MEETING! Good speakers will be present to denounce the latest atrocious act of the police, the shooting of our fellow workmenyesterday afternoon. Workingmen! Arm Yourselves and Appear in Full Force!”
On May 4, a light rain was falling on the streets and the people gathered. Parsons, Spies and Samuel Fielden spoke to the crowd. Estimates of the crowd’s size ranged from 600 to 3,000.
Nearby, a large number of on-duty police officers watched.
Spies spoke first ,then handed the crowd over to Parsons. Events were reported as subdued. After Parsons spoke for about an hour, he announced the British socialist Samuel Fielden, who spoke for possibly less than 30 minutes. The crowd wasdispersing as the weather was worsening.
However the reports on Fielden’s speech say that he was aggressive and grew more so as he spoke.
Around 10:30 pm, after Fielden stepped down, the police approached the crowd.
They marched in formation towards the speakers and one report says that Police Inspector John Bonfield addressed the speakers and the crowd with these words,
"I command you (looking at Fielden) in the name of the law to desist, and I command you (looking at the crowd) to disperse.”
At that point it is believed that the fuse on a homemade bomb was lit and then tossedin the direction of the policemen. Directly after the bomb went off it is said that gunfire was exchanged between the strikers and the police.
After only a few minutes of violence and bloodshed, the square stood silent and empty with the exception of the bodie that lay on the rain and blood soaked streets in the Haymarket Square.
In the end policemen and strikers were killed and injured. It is said that it is difficult to get an estimate on the number of civilians/strikers injured as many would not seek medical attention for fear of being arrested.
Eight men, all anarchists, were arrested and convicted of the murder of the one policeman, Mathias J. Degan, who was killed by the bomb. Only three of the eightmen accused were present that day. The men arrested were Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, AdolphFisher and Louis Lingg, the Haymarket Eight
In the aftermath of May 4, 1886 a harsh anti-union clampdown took place. There was widespread hysteria that was aimed at immigrants and labor leaders and.xenophobia blossomed. The “Red Scare”spun by mainstream media in conjunction with big business and government swept the country. Propaganda packed mass communications was widespread. Any representation of an anarchist was one of eastern European descent with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other.
Karl Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Enough said.
by Diane Larson
The current exhibit of the Butte Serbian Culture and Orthodox Church that is on display at the archives will be gone soon.
If you have not gone to the Archives to see this display, I would recommend that you stop by before it is gone. According to the Archives Director Ellen Crain, they will begin to take the display down around mid-May and all artifacts will go back to the church or private owners. Shortly after that they will begin their work on the next exhibit.
Butte has a culture that is deeply rooted in its diverse ethnic traditions. This community was built on different cultures coming together to work in the mines on the railroad and build the eclectic Butte community we enjoy today. Butte openly celebrates all peoples. This is one of the reasons why the archives is such an important part of our community. It is a celebration of our ancestry and our heritage, and these displays celebrate that diversity.
These displays also serve as a reminder of our past. The stories of what happened in this town long before we walked these streets and worked within its city walls aid in giving us a sense of who we are today. The displays and the archives bring us all together with all those people that went before. When we walk into the archives and peruse through to documents it can helps us to understand our neighbors and our community.
“We have magic in this building,” said Ms. Crain, “ask a question here and it will get answered some way, somehow.” Donations come in all the time and so often documents and/or artifacts arrive when they might just be needed most.
The current display of Serbian Culture and Orthodox Church artifacts is brilliant. There is a rich history here in Butte that dates back to the late 1800s. There had been a solid representation of Serbian people here by 1895. Then, according to Ms Crain, in 1905 Butte experienced a large influx of Serbians. Father Russell Radoicich of Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church here in Butte said that the Serbs came here to work in the mines.
In 1910 the population of Serbians in Butte was over 4,000 but grew to as many as 10,000 at one time. The items at the archives, many of which are still in use today, belong to the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church and some belong to private owners.
The Serbian community in Butte is smaller these days. Father Radoicich said that he has about 350 people on his mailing list. This list consists of people from all over. Some of the parishioners come from very far away to attend Divine Liturgy on Sunday at Holy Trinity on Continental.
The original Church sat on the corner of Porphyry and Idaho, and it was built in 1905. Archbishop Tikhon of Moscow came to Butte in 1906 to dedicate the church.
Sinking land and shallow tunnels from the nearby Emma Mine along with the damage sustained during the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake resulted in the eventual demolition of the church. A new one went up on Continental Drive in 1964.
This newer structure, according to Frank Quinn of the Montana Standard-Post, in an article printed on July 18, 1965, is a Serbo-Byzantine architectural style. Quinn goes on to say that it is an asset to the Northwest.
The 1965 article discusses the celebrations that surround the consecration of the new church. “Gov. Tim Babcock has proclaimed July 24 and 25 as Montanan Serbian Days.” In his proclamation the governor says, “The Serbian people, since the territorial days of Montana, were among the first mining and railroad families in the region. They have made significant contributions to the growth and advance of this state at both economic and cultural levels.” The article mentioned that Senator Lee Metcalf would attend the celebration, but that Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield would be unable to attend, but did send his congratulations.
One of the items on display at the archives is a beautiful stained glass window that was in the original church. It is the only remaining piece of the original building. In the 1065 article it said that the plans for the windows in the new church are that there will be 8 windows depicting 8 significant events in the church. These plans were not only fulfilled, they were surpassed, according to Father Radoicich.
Walking into the church you feel surrounded by the life of Christ and the Saints. Stunning frescoes cover every inch of the walls and ceiling. These icons depict life of Christ, the life of the church and the saints. Father Radoicich said there were five people that came to Butte to paint the frescoes, four men and one woman. They worked for three years, not including summers because of the heat, to complete the frescoes. Iconography is an art form separate from what the western world considers art. In the west we understand art as an expression of the artist. Icons are pictorial and of scripture. They do not represent the artist and are not an artist’s expression. They are intended to represent the life of the church and allow for an experience of that church to the person witnessing the icons. To compliment an iconographer on their talents they will tell you that it is God and not them that is doing the painting. There are some of the tools these iconographers used in their work on display at the archives. Two wooden dowels with clothes tied to the ends. These were used to steady their arms of the iconographers as they worked.
Also, on display are some of the vestments that are used for different liturgies. There are chalices, and patens used in the church. There are two large wooden cut outs in the exhibit that were used in the 100 year anniversary celebration that took place in 2004. One is of the current church and the other is a form of the original church that sat on Idaho and Porphyry.
There are musical instruments called Gusle that are a national instrument in Montenegro and without these, according to the description, “not a single story about Montenegrin music, folklore, and tradition would be complete.” You can see flags, clothing articles and so much more.
Ms Crain said that “we could teach history from our archives.”
When you walk into the archives and look at this exhibit, you see the history of the Butte Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church. As you go through the historical displays you can experience who these people were and what they meant to the community as a whole.
Author Michael Crichton said, “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Head to the archives and check out a little more of the Butte tree.