Sunday, January 06, 2013

Calumet Library to host 1913 Strike exhibit Jan. 7 - Feb. 1

The "Tumult and Tragedy" traveling exhibit will be on display at the Calumet Public-School Library Jan. 7- Feb. 1. (Poster courtesy Michigan Tech Archives)

CALUMET -- 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 from Jan. 7 through Feb. 1.

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

A special open house will take place Tuesday, Jan. 15. Architectural historian Kim Hoagland will present an illustrated talk titled "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, Feb. 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.

For further information, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at or 906-487-2505, or the Calumet Public-School Library at 906-337-0311, extension 1107.

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