Calumet Library Hosts 1913 Strike Exhibit

An exhibit exploring labor in Michigan’s historic copper mining
district will visit the Calumet Public-School Library in January.
“Tumult and Tragedy: Michigan’s 1913-14 Copper Strike,” a traveling
exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, will be on display through February 1.

The library is open to the public
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.,
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

A special open house will take place Tuesday, January 15.
Architectural historian Kim Hoagland will present an illustrated talk
entitled “Seeberville 1913: Everyday Life in Violent Times” at 6:30
p.m. and the exhibit will be open to visitors. Support for this event
is provided by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.

On July 23, 1913, members of the Western Federation of Miners took to
the streets over grievances about pay and working conditions. The
strike was marked by violence and tragedy, including the deaths of
more than 70 people, mainly children during a Christmas Eve party at
Calumet’s Italian Hall. Local mining companies refused to recognize
the union, however, and the strike finally ended in April 1914. The
confrontation between organized labor and mining companies affected
local residents from all walks of life, created headlines across the
nation, and continues to resonate in Michigan’s Copper Country today.

The “Tumult and Tragedy” traveling exhibit consists of 12 panels and
includes photographs, excerpts from newspapers, documents, and songs
from the strike era. A free giveaway brochure contains links to
related web content about the 1913-14 Michigan copper strike online at

The exhibit will remain on display at the Calumet Library through
Friday, February 1 and then tour to four other locations in Houghton
and Baraga Counties. The exhibit was made possible through a $14,500
grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the
National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided
by Michigan Technological University, Cranking Graphics, and Dr.
Robert and Ruth Nara.

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