Coal in the United States was discovered in the 18th century by landowners and farmers on the slopes of the hillsides in the Appalachian region. It was not until the late 19th century that this black rock would become a part of an industrial revolution. One of the first mines to commercially produce coal was in Fairmont, West Virginia, and began the Consolidated Coal Corporation. On November 20, 1968, the Farmington No. 9 mine explosion changed the course of safety for future mining and the lives of 78 families whose sons, husbands, fathers, and loved ones never came back from the cateye shift the next day.