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She Was A Doctor Who Played A Pivotal Role In Providing Better Working Conditions For American Coal Miners, Leading 350 Miners To Go On Strike In 1945

So in July 1945, Elizabeth led the 350 miners at the Shawmut Mines and helped them go on strike, granting their issues lots of publicity. Beginning on a Monday, none of the miners went to work, and she resigned from her position as the local physician. However, during the strike, she discreetly continued to treat people medically.

It was discovered that due to Shawmut Mining Co.’s operations, more towns were being affected and living in poor conditions.

There was a long stand-off between Elizabeth, the miners, The Pennsylvania State Health Department, the miners, etc., and even President Harry Truman became involved when the miners wrote to him, pleading for help.

Eventually, a federal hearing was finally scheduled to investigate Shawmut Mining Co.’s operations, where Elizabeth testified and advocated for the affected families.

The hearing was a great success for Elizabeth and the affected mining communities. New executives were appointed to Shawmut, who were required to help clean up the towns, fix the sewer systems, and provide these residents with the living conditions they deserved.

Today, because of ‘Dr. Betty’s’ efforts, American coal miners are being properly educated about their rights to prevent those horrors from ever happening again.

During her later years, Elizabeth worked as a civilian physician at the Cherry Point Marine Air Base in North Carolina. She passed away due to a stroke in 1984 at 72.

Elizabeth’s bravery and determination to give hard-working people a better life is nothing short of admirable. It’s interesting to think about what would have happened if she hadn’t helped those people spark change.

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