The Christmas Eve Calumet massacre, 1913

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 10.23.38 AMA short history of the biggest mass murder in Michigan history: the massacre of 73 people, mostly the children of striking miners at a Christmas party on Christmas Eve in 1913.

In July 1913, over 7,000 miners struck the C&H Copper Mining Company in Calumet, Michigan.

Strikers’ demands included pay raises, an end to child labor, and safer conditions including an end to one-man drill operations, as well as support beams in the mines (which mine owners didn’t want because support beams were costly but miners killed in cave-ins “do not cost us anything.”)

Six months without work left many miner families with little food for the holidays and no money for presents, so the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Western Federation of Miners held a Christmas party for the kids. 500 children and 200 adults showed up that day, Christmas Eve 1913. It was held on the second floor of Calumet’s Italian Hall; the only way in and out was a very steep stairway. Read Full

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