Author and documentary filmmaker Gary Kaunonen will discuss the 1916 iron ore strike —which rocked Minnesota’s Iron Range and beyond — Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Admission is free.
On June 2, 1916, 40 mostly immigrant mine workers at the St. James Mine in Aurora, Minnesota, walked off the job. Kaunonen researched how this seemingly small labor disturbance mushroomed into one of the region’s, if not the nation’s, most contentious 20th-century battles between organized labor and management. This strike had a profound impact on workers and immigrants and mining and labor relations in Minnesota and beyond.
Kaunonen is the author of Flames of Discontent: The 1916 Minnesota Iron Ore Strike (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). He also produced a feature-length documentary film, “Northern Minnesota’s Labor Wars,” (USA, 2017, 73 minutes) which covers the same era. The full film is available on YouTube.
Reprinted from the Minneapolis Labor Review.