By Mike Kruzman /

An expert on an important early 20th century strike in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be sharing insights and knowledge during a virtual event with the Brighton District Library.

The Michigan Copper Miners’ Strike of 1913-1914 lasted 9 months as miners in the Keweenaw Peninsula fought for union recognition, higher pay, and shorter work days.

The strike is also infamous for what is known as the Italian Hall disaster. On Christmas Eve 1913, hundreds of miners and their families were attending a party in the upstairs of the Italian Hall building in Calumet. Many witnesses, at some point, recall an unknown person falsely yelling “Fire,” which caused a panic and a stampede to the stairway in which 73 people, including many children, died.

On Thursday, March 10th, the Brighton District Library is inviting expert Lindsay Hiltunen for a topical and pictorial overview of the events and attitudes that sparked the strike. Hiltunen is the University Archivist at Michigan Tech and Copper Country Historical Collections in Houghton. She has written a Master’s thesis on the history of the strike and the public memory of it. She will integrate those memories of this memorable moment in Michigan’s history with the social, political, and class histories of the time.

The event runs from 7-8pm, on March 10th.

Register for the event on the library’s website, or here: