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Anthracite Mining Heritage Month

WVIA Original Documentary Films

Knox... A Disaster

The Knox Mine Disaster is a WVIA Original Documentary Film produced in 1984

Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou, award-winning singer-songwriter from the Lehigh Valley, speaking about her new album dedicated to the memory of her grandfather, who was a coal miner in the Lackawanna County, and to the immigrant experience.
For more information about "Come From a Coal Town" and Daria's music for children,

Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou, award-winning singer-songwriter from the Lehigh Valley, in Part Two of a conversation coinciding with the release of her recent album, "Come From A Coal Town" dedicated to her immigrant grandfather who worked in the Anthracite mines of northeastern Pennsylvania. She also spoke about her new children's song, "Thanks to the Doctors and Nurses"

Dr. Jamie Longazel, Associate Professor of Political Science at John Jay College in NY and author of the study, "Undocumented Fears: Immigration & the Politics of Divide & Conquer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania" issued by Temple University Press, speaking about an organization he founded, "Anthracite Unite", what led to his writing a book about Hazleton and the importance of remembering the region's history.

Dr. Robert Wolensky, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, & Adjunct Professor of History at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, speaking about "Sewn in Coal Country: An Oral History of the Ladies' Garment Industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1945-1995", issued by Penn State University Press. Part One of Two Segments.

David Brocca, Filmmaker, and Lex Romane, Singer-Songwriter/Narrator, speaking about the new documentary "The Knox Mine Disaster" that will have two screenings as part of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month in NEPA.


Michael L. Sena, internationally-known expert in telematics, digital map databases, location-based services and navigation, and a native of Scranton, who now lives and works in Sweden, speaking about his family life in Scranton and his novel, "The Coal Men".
This is the first of a two-part series.

Michael L. Sena, native of Scranton & internationally-known expert in telematics, digital map databases, location-based services & navigation, speaking about his recent novel, "The Coal Men" set in the Anthracite Coal region with 6 men trapped in a mine "squeeze."
For more information:

Richard Stanislaus, Guest Curator & Art Collector, and Dr. Darlene Miller-Lanning, Director of the Hope Horn Gallery at the University of Scranton, speaking about the exhibition, "John Willard Raught: Beauty Lies Close at Home,"

Photographer Niko Kallianiotis, Co-Founder of the Rust Belt Biennial, speaking about his recently published collection of photographs, "America in a Trance" issued by Damiani.

Robert Wolensky, Prof. Emeritus at the Univ. of Wisconsin/Stevens Point; Richard Healey of the University of Portsmouth, England, and William Jones, Prof. Emeritus at the Univ. of Cardiff, Wales, speaking about the Avondale Mine Disaster of 1869 on the occasion of a conference to mark the 150th Anniversary of the tragedy in northeastern Pennsylvania.


Photographer Yoav Friedlander, Co-founder of the Rust Belt Biennial, and Heather Sincavage, Director of the Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University,


A regional observance of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month will take place during January 2022.  A variety of programs will be featured in various cities: Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Hazleton, Plymouth, Nanticoke, Pittston, Lansford, and Port Griffith.  The annual event focuses on the history and culture of the anthracite region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

 The events are sponsored by the Anthracite Heritage Museum, the Anthracite Heritage Foundation, King’s College, the Lackawanna Historical Society, the Luzerne County Historical Society, the Plymouth Historical Society, the Nanticoke Historical Society, WVIA-Public Broadcasting, the Susquehanna Brewing Company, the Huber Breaker Preservation Society, the No. 9 Mine and Museum, Baloga Funeral Home, the National Museum of Industrial History, and the Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Committee. 

 The public is cordially invited to attend all events, which are open free of charge except for the Knox Mine Disaster documentaryon January 21stand the Msgr. John J. Curran play on January 30th, which require advance purchase tickets.


Thursday, Jan. 13     Nanticoke Historical Society,Public Program: Mining Anthracite—Memories and Commentaries from Those Who Did, and Those Who Are Doing; Speakers: Phil Voystock, Freeland; Tom Supey, West Pittston; Chester Zaremba, Nanticoke; Chris Murley, Scranton; Banks Ries,Tunkhannock; Venue: St. Faustina Cultural Center (38 W. Church St., Nanticoke, PA 18634); Time: 6:30 – 8 pm; Moderator: Chester Zaremba, NHS; Plus: A mining memorabilia displayby Mike and Linda Mostardi,Media, PA; Refreshments 

Friday, Jan. 14         Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society, Public Event:A Guided Tour of the Luzerne County Court House; TourLeader: Tony Brooks, Director, WBPS; Venue: The Luzerne County Court House; Time: 1 – 2 pm; Pleaseregister at 570-793-3631 or at; Meet: Inside the Court House 

Saturday, Jan. 15      No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, Public Event: A Guided Tour of the Historic No. 9 Coal Mine; Tour Leader: Zach Petroski, President of the No. 9; Venue: The Mine and Museum (9 Dock St., Lansford, PA 18232); Time: 2 – 3:30 pm; Refreshments 

Saturday Jan. 15      Plymouth Historical Society, Public Program:The Avondale Disaster of 1869; Speaker: Eric Bella, mining engineer for Lehigh Engineering, Reading Anthracite Co.; Topic: “The Avondale Mine Disaster from a Mining Engineer’s Perspective: It Was an Accident!;” Venue: Plymouth Borough Municipal Building (162 West Shawnee Avenue, Plymouth); Time: 7 – 8:30 pm; Moderator: Steve Kondrad, President, PHS; Refreshments 

Thursday, Jan. 20     The McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, King’s College, (Bernard Prusak, Director), and the Anthracite Heritage Foundation, Public Program: The Annual Msgr. John J. Curran Lecture; Speaker: Dr. Philip Jenkins, Department of History, Baylor University; Topic: “A Heritage of Hatred: The Ku Klux Klan and the Far Right in the Anthracite Region, 1920-1945;” Venue: Burke Auditorium, McGowan Business School, King’s College (133 N. River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711); Time: 7 – 8: 30 pm; Welcome: Fr. Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C, President, King’s College; Refreshment: start at 6:30 pm; LIVE STREAM: The presentation will also be live streamed; please register for the Zoom link at; NOTE: Please see the Lackawanna Historical Society’s theatrical performance about Msgr. Curran set for Jan. 30th (below) 

Friday, Jan. 21        A Screening of “The Knox Mine Disaster: A Documentary Film,”by David Brocca and Al Brocca; Venue: Burke Auditorium, McGowan Business School, King’s College (133 N. River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711); Time: Doors open at 6:30 pm, film begins at 7 pm; Q&A: A 20-minute Q&A with film director David Brocca and Knox Disaster author Robert Wolensky will follow; Tickets: Are required and available at 

Saturday Jan. 22      Anthracite Heritage Museum, Public Program: The Annual Knox Mine Disaster Commemoration; Speaker No. 1: Sue Hand, Anthracite region artist, Topic: Lackawanna Coal Breaker Communities: Faded Memories; Speaker No. 2: TeresaBergman, Chair, Communication Department, University of the Pacific, Topic: “New Directions in Commemoration;”Comment: Jennifer Black, Misericordia University; Music by Don Shappelle and the Pickups; Venue: Anthracite Heritage Museum (22 Bald Mountain Rd., Scranton, PA 18504); Time: 2 - 3:30 pm; Moderator: Bode Morin, AHM; NOTE: Sue Hand’s Latest Art Exhibit,Regional Coal Breaker Communities: Faded Memories, will debut at the Museum at 1 pm; ALSONOTE: The program will be live streamed on the Anthracite Heritage Museum Facebook Page:; Refreshments 

Saturday Jan. 22      Susquehanna Brewing Company, Free Concert: An Evening of Anthracite Region Music; Performers: Lex Romaine, folk singer; Don Chappelle and the Pickups, folk group; Jimmy Watlich, accordionist, and Doug Smith, bass, musical variety; Venue: SBC (635 S. Main St., Pittston, PA 18640); Time: 7 – 9 pm; MC: Ed Philbin, railroader;NOTE:SBC beverages and food truck cuisine available for purchase 

Sunday Jan 23          Anthracite Heritage Museum, UK Tour Informational Meeting: An Industrial History Tour of the United Kingdom, June 16 to June 27, 2022, sponsored by the Anthracite Heritage Museum; Tour Leaders: BodeMorin, Beth Landmesser, and Robert Wolensky; Travel Agent: Janet Redler Travel and Tourism, Shropshire, England, who will participate in the meeting; Time: 3 – 4 pm; Slots still available;Venue: Zoom,To Join the Meeting-- 

Sunday Jan. 23         Annual Knox Mine Disaster Memorial Mass, Venue: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (35 Williams St., Pittston, PA 18640); Time: 9 am 

Sunday Jan.  23        Annual Knox Mine Disaster Public Commemoration: Venue: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Knox Marker in front of Baloga Funeral Home (1201 Main St., Pittston, PA 18640); Time: 10:30 am; Refreshments: provided by Baloga Funeral Home 

Sunday Jan.  23        Annual Walk to the Knox Mine Disaster Site, Venue: Along the Susquehanna River in Port Griffith; Venue: Meet at the Baloga Funeral Home for a caravan to the parking lot one mile away; Time:11:00 am; NOTE: Weather permitting 

Tuesday, Jan 25        Luzerne County Historical Society, Public Program: Doing Anthracite Region Research: Some Available Resources; Speakers:John Fielding, Curator, Anthracite Heritage Museum; David Schappert, Director, Corgan Library, King’s College; Nicholas Zmijewski, Archivist, Industrial Archives Library, Bethlehem, PA; Mark Riccetti, Director of Operations and Museum Curator, LCHS; Venue: Zoom, To Join the Meeting--; Time: 7 – 8:30 pm; Moderator: Mark Riccetti, LCHS 

Thursday Jan. 27      THIS PROGRAM HAS BEENPOSTPONED UNTIL A FUTURE DATE.Penn Anthracite Chapter-Society of Mining Engineers, and the Hazleton Historical Society, Public Program: The Lattimer Massacre of 1897—A 125th AnniversaryCommemoration: Speakers: Mike Korb, Penn Anthracite-SME (“The Historical Monument”), Robert Wolensky, King’s College (“The Ethnic Component of Lattimer”), Paul Shackel, University of Maryland (“Remembering Lattimer”); Lew Dryfoos III, One Group Risk Management (“The Dryfoos Photos from Lattimer”); Chuck Knisell, United Mine Workers of America (“Comment on Lattimer”); Venue: Hazle Twp. Municipal Building (101 W. 27th Street, Hazle Twp. PA, 18202); Time: 6:30 – 8 pm; Moderator: Charles McElwee, Hazleton Historical Society Museum; Refreshments 

Sunday Jan. 30         Lackawanna Historical Society:A Live Theatrical Performance, For the Least of Them, a play about the life of Msgr. John J. Curran (“The Mineworkers’ Priest”); Playwright: K.K. Gordon; Actor: Scott Rave; Director: Art Walsh; Venue: LHS (232 Monroe Ave., Scranton, PA 18510); Time: 2 – 3:30 pm; Tickets: The play will be presented to a limited live audience, and live-streamed through Electric City Television. Seating is limited and tickets are $15 (or $10 for LHS Members); Refreshments: A wine and cheese reception will follow