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Archives to Host Screening of `1913 Massacre' Event Involving Woodbridge Ferris

1913 Massacre filmUniversity Archives at Ferris State University is sponsoring a 7 p.m. airing of the documentary “1913 Massacre” on Thursday, Jan. 16 in College of Business Room 111.

The airing of the documentary is the result of a suggestion from Ferris emeriti Paul Peoples and his wife, Pat, who attended a prior showing with the producers of “1913 Massacre” in Marquette last fall, said Melinda Isler, university archivist and special collections librarian. Isler noted that 2013-14 marks the 100th anniversary of Woodbridge Ferris’ first term as Michigan governor and the 1913 Copper Strike in the Upper Peninsula town of Calumet. She added that “the Copper Strike is a significant part of Michigan history and not everyone realizes the role that Gov. Ferris played.”

Woodbridge Ferris, founder of Ferris State University, assigned the entire Michigan National Guard to the area during the 1913 strike. Ferris ordered troops to protect people and property, but not to take sides in the dispute. Troops remained in the area for six months to bring and keep peace. To learn more about Ferris, visit here.

“This documentary provides a unique perspective in that Arlo Guthrie (the son of Woody Guthrie who wrote a ballad about the incident) interviews living witnesses and traces the documentation, including the song, to see effects the Copper Strike and Italian Hall tragedy still have on the Upper Peninsula town of Calumet,” Isler said. “It is not just a historical story, with a series of factual incidents, but it is instead a more layered approach.”