The Murder of Frank Little

In 1917, Butte was the site of one of the most notorious unsolved murders in American history. The murder of union organizer Frank Little happened in the midst of what was then the biggest strike in the history of Butte’s copper mines. It also happened in the midst of World War I, just months after the United States had entered the war. Butte’s mines were the biggest copper mines in the world, and copper was an utterly essential strategic material in the war.

Little's murder remains officially unsolved, although there are many intriguing clues and theories about how, and why, he was killed. More broadly, Little’s life and death is a fascinating window into the history of corporate power, class conflict, and radical labor organizing in the early 1900s.