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Ludlow- Christmas was cold without booze or shoes

SO. COLORADO — With morning temperatures near zero every day of Christmas week and the ground covered with snow, both the militia and the striking miner families faced hardship in their tents a hundred years ago. However, the coal miners on strike in the Trinidad district, and the soldiers sent to keep peace, found some extra cheer selling liquor. In fact the militia had so much extra cheer, Commanding General John Chase ordered that at noon Dec. 26 all establishments could no longer serve the soldiers or the business would be closed immediately. As one soldier passed along the street with a bulge under his coat, he noted, “We have a ways and means committee.” Most saloon keepers approved of the ban. State Auditor Roady Kenehan finally arrived after Christmas (not in time for Christmas as he promised) to pay the 1,400 soldiers in Huerfano and Las Animas counties their 10 days’ pay. Those who could afford it might have Christmas dinner at the Trinidad Columbian Cafe. Fish, steak, lamb, prime rib were on the menu for 25 cents to 50 cents – lobster was $1.25. Vegetables were extra; asparagus tips at 25 cents or corn at 5 cents. Fruit salad with whipped cream was 25 cents and a slice of pie 5 cents. Even at those prices the meals were out of reach of the strikers. Colorado non-striking unions furnished $3,000 and private donors $500 to make it possible to provide three tons of nuts and candy, two tons of apples, and hundreds of articles of clothing and other gifts to the miners in the tent colonies. The United Mine Workers spent $1,285 on shoes. Large Christmas trees went up in each colony. CF&I mine owners and operators gave the usual candy and nuts to the children of non-striking miners. Information is from the Trinidad Chronicle-News Dec. 24, Dec. 26, Dec. 27, 1913.