New Video features Carpatho-Russian/Rusyn Historical Event‏

I received this notice from today. I’ve got Rusyn roots (my maternal grandfather was born in Osturna, and worked as a coal miner as a young man) so was very interested to watch this video.


The largest mine disaster in Pennsylvania history took place on December 19th 1907 at the Darr Mine, just across the Youghiogheny River from Jacobs Creek, PA – hometown of the Simkovich family. Because the local Carpatho-Russians (Carpatho-Rusyns) had taken off work on a Monday with no pay in order to attend church for the Feastday of St. Nicholas, their lives were spared.
Pittsburgh public television station WQED recently produced a 30 minute program to mark the 100 year anniversary of the mine disaster, and it’s now online. Watching the entire program will give one an appreciation for the hard life that East European immigrants led. Click here to start Part 2 of the program:

The segment on Jacobs Creek’s St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and the Rusyn people begins at the 3 minute 49 second point, ending at the 7 minute 12 second point. It opens with Charles Bobich (a Simkovich on his mother’s side) ringing the church bell.

Interviews are conducted inside the church and in the church hall in the basement. During the time of the mine disaster, this church was actually Greek Catholic.

This program was first aired on television in December, and will be re-broadcast in Pittsburgh on Tuesday February 26, 2008 at 7:30pm.