Labor’s Intl Hall of Fame Inductee “Big Annie” Clemenc to be Honored by National Park Service in Calumet, Michigan on Friday

Big Annie led strike parade with American Flag
Big Annie led strike parade with American Flag



DETROIT, Michigan (July 24, 2013) -- Michigan's Upper Peninsula labor activist Anna “Big Annie” Clemenc-Shaws (1888-1956) will be honored with a ceremony at the Keweenaw National Historical Park Visitor Center in Calumet, Michigan on Friday, July 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.   

Clemenc-Shaws was inducted into Labor’s International Hall of Fame during a ceremony earlier this year in New York City, and members of her family will be present in Calumet to receive the award on her behalf.

The event is part of the centennial commemoration of the Keweenaw copper strike that started in July 1913.  More than 15,000 copper miners simultaneously struck all of the mines in the Keweenaw Peninsula demanding better wages and working conditions. 

Big Annie, the wife and daughter of copper miners, soon received fame as the “Joan of Arc of Calumet” for her fiery leadership of huge parades by strikers, as well as for many other activities in support of the strike.

The strike is most often recalled today for the horrendous Italian Hall catastrophe. 

A Christmas Eve party for the children of the strikers, organized by Big Annie and other women, was interrupted by a false fire alarm, believed to have been given by a strikebreaker.   

In the ensuing panic, 73 people, mostly children, died.  The culprit was never found.  Woody Guthrie wrote a well-known song about the tragedy, 1913 Massacre.

Big Annie was born in Calumet and lived there for most of her life prior to the 1913 strike.

Annie is the subject of a new book, Annie Clemenc and the Great Keweenaw Copper Strike, and an exhibit at Calumet’s Coppertown Museum.  She is also a member of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.



Lyndon Comstock: 415-868-0118

Shawn Ellis: (313) 320-6964 Labor’s International Hall of Fame

Thomas Baker: Keweenaw National Historical Park

Site union-made by:
Union built by Prometheus Labor Prometheus Labor Union Websites