Photoa & page, copyright (c) 1999-2008 by D.L. Humphrey.
This is the 7th Street Cut, a manmade ravine that bisects the heart of Reading, Pennsylvania. Incredibly, state troops were marched into this gantlet during The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, to free a train halted by strikers. Before reaching the far end of the Cut, under provocation of verbal abuse, rocks, other missiles and pistol fire from local citizenry who thronged the top of the Cut on both sides, the troops volleyed deadly fire into the unnumbered crowd, killing 10, wounding a score more. There is still local controversy and high feeling surrounding these events, commemorated by a marker only since 1993 as
"The Reading Railroad Massacre."
The page icon links to a thorough examination of the Reading Railroad Massacre, within not only its local, but national and international contexts as well. An abridged version of this essay appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of The Historical Review of Berks County, together with photo and documentary material and collateral local insights from the Berks County Historical Society, which publishes the review.
Delineating a Fault:
New Perspectives on the Reading Railroad Massacre
an historical study by D.L. Humphrey