As we enter the holiday season, we’re reflecting back on the real stories behind coal – that dreaded lump that shows up in naughty children’s stockings on Christmas morning. This month, we’re exploring the real value of coal and the stories that go with it. Featuring interviews with retired coal miners Carl Shoupe, Connie McKnight, and Mike O’Bradovich.

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Learn about the origins of coal as a Christmas present here

Learn some basic facts about coal and its use on this site from USGS. 

Carl Shoupe and wife Paquita.

Mike O’Bradovich inspecting a longwall shield.

Kentucky miners featured on the cover of Foxfire Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009.

Read more about these individuals and others in their communities in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of the Foxfire Magazine.