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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“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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“They Try to Create Despair Among the Miners”

One of the small treasures I brought back to New York from Lake Superior is Hannu Leppanen and Daniel Schneider’s 2013 letterpress edition of Tyomies, the Finnish workingman’s newspaper published during the strike of 1913. I’ve mentioned the project here before. Daniel set up his Chandler & Price Pilot Press…

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Where Is Calumet?

It’s uncanny how this notice from a 1913 newspaper anticipates the opening scene of 1913 Massacre: “Where is Calumet?” That is a simple question, apparently. Almost anybody will say it is a thriving city up in the country where they blow open the earth with dynamite and wrest copper there…

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Murder, Mother Jones and the Militia

By August of 1913, things in the Copper Country were really starting to heat up. The miners had been on strike since the end of July, and the strike was “gradually drifting,” in the words of the┬áCalumet News, “towards its second stage, a period of guerilla warfare.” The Michigan National…

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The Circle is Complete

A quick update before we leave town this morning. We showed the film again yesterday afternoon and evening at the Calumet Theatre. The Saturday matinee crowd may have been the biggest of the three. About 1500 people came to see 1913 Massacre over the course of the weekend. As Ken…

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