Les Ross, 1923-2014

Les Ross passed away on Thursday, June 26th, just a month shy of his 91st birthday. Read his obituary here: World War II (Navy) veteran. Accountant. Father, grandfather and great-grandfather. A Detroit Tigers fan. And a wonderful musician. Les played lumberjack style harmonica, a Finnish-Scandinavian style in which the melody…

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Can Films Still Make A Difference?

(cross posted from my personal blog): What filmmaker wouldn’t be pleased with a critic like Joan Gibb Engel? Here’s what she writes about 1913 Massacre. We were treated to a complex story, excellently told, replete with black and white stills from the period depicting the miners, the strikers, the town,…

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A Letter to the Students at Lincoln Elementary School In Madison, Wisconsin

Hi! We are thrilled that you watched our film and so happy that you took the time to write letters to us and to Arlo and Nora Guthrie. A couple of weeks ago, Ken and I attended an event honoring Pete Seeger at Symphony Space, here in New York City.…

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Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

Ken emailed late last night with the news that Pete Seeger had died. I found out this morning. We both feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have spent time with Pete, talking about Woody, their time on the road, “1913 Massacre” and all sorts of musical and historical topics. There…

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Quick Holiday Round Up — 1913 in 2013

There was a ceremony in Calumet this past Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Italian Hall disaster, and all around the country there were news articles, blog posts, TV shows and radio programs about the trouble in Calumet on Christmas Eve, 1913. Our film came in for some…

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“Joins the Ranks of Great Progressive Movies”

Bill Meyer sums up his review of 1913 Massacre: Seamless editing, engrossing interviews and a stirring well-integrated music soundtrack make the film flow like long lost friends catching up on history. Arlo makes the point early on that it was folk songs where people learned about working class history, such…

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Newtown, Calumet and Dark Anniversaries

Sometimes during the Question & Answer periods after screenings of 1913 Massacre, people ask why the tragedy held the town of Calumet in its grip for so long. Why did the memory of the Italian Hall disaster last? Why did it take so long for the town to come to…

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Foreign Agitators!

A hundred years ago yesterday, on December 10th, 1913, the operators of the Calumet and Hecla Mine and members of the Citizens Alliance announced that all representatives of organized labor from outside the state had just “twenty four hours to leave. If they fail to do so they will be…

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