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SC Site of Bloody Labor Strike Violence Crumbles

HONEA PATH, S.C. (AP) - All that remains of the abandoned South Carolina textile mill that was the site of the deadliest violence during a national labor strike 75 years ago are crumbling brick walls, creaky wood floors and whispers of the tragedy.

The fate of Chiquola Mills is unknown, the site slated for auction in November after the owner failed to pay $5,000 in taxes and stopped demolition amid tough economic times. There are some who want the horrific memories to fade with the building. Others see an opportunity to preserve a historic site where seven mill workers were gunned down when the superintendent, who was also the town mayor and judge at the time, ordered armed guards, many of them fellow townspeople, to fire into the striking workers.

On Sept. 6, 1934, workers mired in the midst of the Great Depression and angry over low wages and harsh working conditions took to the streets and descended upon the mill as other employees were headed into work. Dozens of people were injured in the shooting
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