The Honea Path massacre
Over eighty-three years ago on September 6th, 1934 seven men were murdered and thirty more wounded at Chiquola Mill in Honea Path, South Carolina. Even more interesting is how that day was covered up by the townspeople. Today Chiquola Mill has been demolished. No efforts were made to preserve this historic location and every attempt has been made to suppress what really happened.
It was during a union protest calling attention to low pay and poor working conditions that 7 innocent men were killed. Over 300 people had gathered for a union protest. Oddly enough a machine gun managed to get mounted onto the mill’s rooftop. That is one thing I still do not understand. I also do not understand if anyone was hurt by this weapon or not, but it did reportedly jam.
Outside the mill, anti-union workers lead by the mayor of the town himself used picker sticks against the protestors. Eventually, this led to fighting between the two groups. As things escalated shots were fired and seven men were murdered as they tried to run away. That is the events that occurred that gave September 6th, 1934 the name Bloody Thursday.
Somehow, as the years went by, the memory of the violence at Chiquola was suppressed and almost completely forgotten.
The massacre isn’t the worst part of the story. It is the fact that no one remembers what happened. Growing up you never heard anyone speak of the massacre. Not one teacher brought up the subject in any of the local schools. An entire town of people had covered up and hidden the murder of innocent people out of fear and shame.