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Mine-Mill’s Peace Arch Concerts – A history essay

July 25, 2011

How a ‘Red’ union and a famous singer-activist fought the Cold Warriors

Mine-Mill’s Murphy passes hat at Robeson’s 1952 concert.

When Harvey Murphy, the pugnacious western regional director of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, learned that his friend and fellow leftist, American opera star Paul Robeson, was not going to be allowed to cross the Canada-United States border to sing at the Vancouver Mine-Mill convention on February 1, 1952, he didn’t mourn, he organized.

Robeson – BC Studies 174 – Summer 2012
Also hear my comments for a radio documentary in the podcast section.

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2 Responses to Mine-Mill’s Peace Arch Concerts – A history essay

  1. Martin on February 25, 2012 at 4:26 am

    I was there, my first political event. Less than 2 years old, in my mother’s arms.

    Thanks for posting the photo.

    • Ron Verzuh on February 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I’m envious. Must have been quite the event. By the way, I’ve done a much more refined piece on the concerts that is now being considered for publication with BC Studies. Some added information and comment that might interest you. On a slightly related matter, did members of your family happen to also see a showing of Salt of the Earth around the same time? It showed in Toronto and a few Canadian towns where Mine-Mill had established itself. I’d like to get more information on Canadian responses to it. Thanks for your comment. RV

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