On December 6, 1907, a massive explosion decimated a coal mine in Monongah, West Virginia. Three hundred and sixty-two miners were killed, making this the worst mining disaster in U.S. history. The tragedy devastated the small town and led eventually to the establishment of the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
The Monongah mine disaster also marked another beginning. Several months after the explosion, a local church held a special service in honor of the 362 miners, most of whom had left behind wives and children. This is the first event on record in the United States set aside specifically to honor dads.