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Concert Will Raise Funds For Italian Hall Victims Memorial

The effort continues to erect a memorial engraved with the names of those who died in the Italian Hall tragedy in 1913.

Families of striking workers gathered on Christmas Eve at the hall when a false shout of fire caused a stampede, leading to the deaths of 73 people.

When the Italian Hall was torn down, a memorial was built on the site but something appeared to be missing.

Local businessman Mike Lahti is spearheading the effort to install the Italian Hall Victims Memorial at the current site.

Lahti said, “The memorial was put up mainly because the building was torn down in 1984 and the arch was left and some folks set up a memorial and some nice chairs to sit around and it’s a pleasant place but there was something missing.  There were no names of the victims who perished that night.”

To help cover the more than $20,000 needed for the addition, a fundraiser concert is being held at the Calumet Theatre on October 8th from 2-4pm.

Lahti said, “As the organizer of the event says, this show is both a remembrance of the Italian Hall tragedy, and a celebration of the music and the lives of the American working people–now that’s Oren Tikkanen’s words.  The program will include songs of sadness and loss, joy and humor, and unity and hope.”

A free will offering will be held at the concert.  For concert details and a list of performers, click here.  You will also find more details on the memorial.

Proceeds from a book by the Houghton-Keweenaw Genealogical Society called “Families Left Behind” also go to support the memorial.  Click here for details on purchasing a copy.

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