In December 1921 on the frozen plains of Kansas, between 2,000 and 6,000 women — some pregnant and others carrying small children — marched to 63 mines in southeast Kansas, protesting unfair labor practices and laws regarding hazardous working conditions, poor pay and discrimination.
They faced down the state militia, a machine gun attachment and 100 armed deputized men. Shots were fired at their feet, and still they marched.
The women were armed only with American flags and red pepper flakes, the latter of which they planned to throw into the eyes of union scabs.
Their leader was Mary Skubitz, a feisty woman who was born in Slovenia and immigrated to Kansas with her family when she was 3 years old. Skubitz, 34 when the march took place, could speak five languages.
The 63 mines — located in Crawford and Cherokee counties in southeast Kansas — produced a third of the nation’s coal.
The people mining the coal were a mix of 50 nationalities. That portion of the state was nicknamed “The Little Balkans.”
Question: What did the press nickname the women?
Answer to Saturday’s question: Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation in Germany
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