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June 11 is Davis Day, an annual day of remembrance of miners who died on the job in Nova Scotia.
Davis Day, formally known as William Davis Miners’ Day and also known as Miners Memorial Day, originated in memory of William Davis, a coal miner who was killed during protest by striking miners.
The 1925 protest occurred near New Waterford after the mining company cut off the water and electricity supply during a long and bitter miners' strike. Residents marched on the pumping station at Waterford Lake demanding that the utilities be restored. During a confrontation with armed company police, shots were fired and Davis was killed.
To remember this incident, the United Mine Workers of America designated the day in his honour, with miners in Nova Scotia vowing to never work on "Davis Day" ever again. The United Mine Workers union organizes Davis Day events across the province. In 1985, Miners' Memorial Park in New Waterford was re-named Davis Square.
Davis Day is a solemn reminder of all those who have died in Nova Scotia’s mines and the importance of advocating for workplace safety.
Miners Memorial Day (Davis Day) – Nova Scotia Museum of Industry
Davis Day Through the Years: A Cape Breton Coalmining Tradition – Nova Scotia Archives
This Week in History – “Standing the Gaff” – Parks Canada