Reflections on Tragedy: 30 Facts about History’s Greatest Catastrophes and Their Aftermath


26Ludlow Massacre

Ludlow Massacre

During the Ludlow Massacre, in 1914, the Colorado National Guard and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company open-fired with machine guns on a tent colony of striking coal miners and their families, killing 21 people.

27. The Circassian genocide (1864-1870) was the Russian Empire's systematic mass murder, ethnic cleansing, forced migration, and expulsion 1,500,000 Circassians in an attempt to make room for Russian colonization in Circassia.

28. During the Zong Massacre, in 1781, a British slave ship threw 130 chained African slaves overboard and claimed compensation under the ship's insurance. They falsely blamed the act on water shortage and lost their case.

29. The Dzungar genocide was the mass extermination of the Mongol Dzungar people at the hands of the Chinese Qing dynasty. Following a rebellion, the Emperor decided to eradicate the Dzungar. Around 80% of the population was exterminated in what a historian has called “the 18-century genocide par excellence.” This event brought the Uygur into today’s Xinjiang.

30. The Nevado del Ruiz volcano that erupted in 1985 caused a volcanic mudslide that buried the town of Armero, Colombia and killed approximately 23,000 people.