Thanks to efforts by recent books, exhibits, and a forthcoming induction into Labor’s International Hall of Fame, the legacy of Anna “Big Annie” Clemenc is being honored. Best known for her role as a labor activist and leader of the Western Federation of Miners Women’s Auxiliary during the 1913 Copper Strike in Michigan’s Copper Country, Big Annie is proving to be a historical figure of substantial importance. A new exhibit at the Coppertown USA Mining Museum shares narratives, photos, and artifacts from her life as well as from the Italian Hall tragedy, which took place during a Christmas Eve party for striking miners and their families that Clemenc helped organize. She is also the focus of a new, independently published book called Annie Clemenc and the Great Keweenaw Copper Strike by Lyndon Comstock.
Perhaps of most significance, thanks to a nomination by Comstock, Big Annie is part of the 2013 induction group into Labor’s International Hall of Fame. The ceremony honoring her induction into the hall of fame will take place at the Keweenaw National Historical Park Calumet Visitor Center, on July 26, 2013 at 7 pm. With the 100 year anniversary of the strike coming up on the 23rd, I can’t think of a better way to get in the spirit of things than to pay tribute to one of the strike’s most enduring figures.