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Coke House: 1939

Coke House: 1939

January 1939. "Herrin, Illinois. Family on relief living in shanty at city dump." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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"Little Egypt"

Herrin is in southern Illinois, near Carbondale. This part of the state is known as "Little Egypt," which explains nearby Cairo. It's largely a farming area although some coal mining was done, too. Twenty people were killed in 1920 during a mining strike. The nickname "Little Egypt" dates to the early 1800s, possibly because of the farming or because it's between major rivers.

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