September 19, 1931:
Shafts three and four of the Hawks Nest Tunnel met, ten weeks ahead of schedule, Fayette County. At least 476 workers, most migrant African-Americans, died from silicosis, caused from inhalation of silica rock particles under inadequate safety conditions. Fifty years later, some studies placed the death toll as high as 764, making it the worst industrial disaster in United States history.
Location: Hawks Nest, W.Va.