A film inspired by a Woody Guthrie song
Film screening followed by Q&A with filmmakers Ken Ross and Louis V. Galdieri. In collaboration with the NMU chapter of the AAUP.
1913 Massacre follows the lead of Woody Guthrie’s iconic song back to Calumet, Michigan, in search of the story of the Italian Hall disaster, which took place on Christmas Eve, 1913. In the midst of a bitter labor struggle between the powerful mining industry and mine workers, families of the mine workers gathered in the Italian Hall for a holiday celebration when someone yelled fire in the crowded hall. The resulting chaos and stampede left a tragic seventy-three people (including fifty-nine children) dead, many in the staircase leading to the exit. There was no fire.
The person responsible was never found and the disaster left the town grieving and divided without answers for years. In 1984, the building was demolished but the memories remain nearly one hundred years later in a town that still strongly identifies with a past rooted in the mining industry.