History and Historiography

Michigan’s Forgotten Christmas Eve Massacre

A lot of people don’t realize how violent labor conflicts could be in the 19th and early 20th centuries. As Rap Brown once said, “Violence is as American as cherry pie.”

By Loren Balhorn, The Jacobin

On Christmas Eve in 1913, a pitched battle between organized labor and the mining barons of northern Michigan climaxed in the gruesome deaths of over 70 union supporters and their children. The 1913 Massacre struck a debilitating blow to the region’s labor movement and changed the Upper Peninsula forever. But it’s been largely forgotten in popular consciousness.


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