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Writer & Historian

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Codename Project 9 – A History Booklet

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May 17, 2019
Codename Project 9 – A History Booklet

Reference Verzuh, Ron. Codename Project 9: How a Small British Columbia City Helped Create the Atomic Bomb (KDP Publishing, 2018), 86 pages paper only, $9 (USD) at amazon.com. Synopsis The people of Trail, British Columbia, kept one of the biggest Canadian secrets of the Second World War. Most didn’t know it at the time...
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The Russians Were Coming – A History Essay

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April 18, 2019
The Russians Were Coming – A History Essay

Members of a Russian sect called the Doukhobors or Spirit Wrestlers twice attempted to found utopian colonies near Eugene, Oregon, once in 1913 and a second time in 1924. What happened to them exposes a well-hidden story of culture clashes involving local landowners, county courts, the Quakers, and the Beaver State’s then flourishing Ku...
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Codename P9 wins Canada Shorts Award

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March 12, 2019
Codename P9 wins Canada Shorts Award

Codename Project 9, my short documentary film about the role Canada played in making the atomic bomb, has won an Award of Distinction from Canada Shorts, the Canadian and International Short Film Festival. I am pleased and honoured to receive the award from a festival whose mission is to “champion short filmmaking and strive...
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The Raiding of Local 480 – A Labour History

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November 26, 2018
The Raiding of Local 480 – A Labour History

My article, “The Raiding of Local 480: A Historic Cold War Struggle for Union Supremacy in a Small Canadian City,” has been published in Canada’s foremost labour history journal, Labour/Le Travail 82 (Fall 2018): 81-117. Abstract This brief history highlights one of the most hard-fought but little-explored labour wars in North American history, one that...
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Codename Project 9 on amazon.com

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September 7, 2018
Codename Project 9 on amazon.com

The people of Trail, British Columbia, kept one of the biggest Canadian secrets of the Second World War. Most didn’t know it at the time but they were involved in something of world-shattering importance. Codename Project 9 breaks the wartime code of silence that had settled over the city in the early 1940s and reveals...
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Codename P9 – A Public Screening

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August 11, 2018
Codename P9 – A Public Screening

My third documentary film, Codename Project 9, had its first public screening at the Expressions Cafe in Nelson, B.C., on August 6, 2018, 73 years after the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The film documents the role that the Trail smelter played in making the bomb, providing glimpses of...
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Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

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December 17, 2016
Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

There isn’t much to see when you visit the former mining metropolis of Sandon, BC, just east of New Denver in the Slocan Valley. But you can almost smell the labour history as you stroll through what’s left of BC’s version of Deadwood, the US mining town that was so authentically depicted on TV...
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Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

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November 10, 2015
Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

My article on organizing immigrant labour at the lead, zinc, and fertilizer smelter in Trail, B.C., during the Second World War has been published by the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, a respected journal that has been providing insightful articles on the history of the region for more than 100 years. My thanks to managing editor John Findlay...
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Labour history novel – A Book Review

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August 26, 2015
Labour history novel – A Book Review

Mick Lowe, The Insatiable Maw: A Story of Eco-Resistance, Volume 2 of the Nickel Range Trilogy (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2015), 153 pages, paperback, $19.95 CDN.   On the heels of his first novel about Northern Ontario mine and smelter workers of the 1960s, journalist turned novelist Mick Lowe has released a thin second volume...
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Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

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July 23, 2015
Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

“Blaylock’s Bomb – How a Small BC City Helped Create the World’s First Weapon of Mass Destruction” is now available in BC Studies No. 186 (summer 2015). Four years into the Second World War, the citizens of Trail, British Columbia, a small city with a large smelter in the moun­tainous West Kootenay region near...
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Books