Fifty years ago this week, 78 men were killed when a coal mine exploded in West Virginia. The Farmington Mine Disaster devastated a small town and ushered in new health and safety laws nationwide.
George Butt was in the first grade in November 1968 when his father put in his two weeks' notice at the No. 9 mine. Harold Wayne Butt had worked as a coal miner but planned to switch careers, to become a postmaster.
"They came and got me out of class and told me I had to go home," George Butt said. "Ended up finding out the tragedy when I got there."