May 1: Remembering the Bisbee Deportation of 1917

May 1: Remembering the Bisbee Deportation of 1917

April 25, 2023

International Worker’s Day is recognized on May 1 in many parts of the world.

Perhaps the most infamous event in Arizona labor history is the Bisbee Deportation of 1917, an illegal vigilante action taken against striking copper workers and Bisbee, Arizona residents. The outbreak of the World War I drove copper prices up and turned the Bisbee mine into a 24/7 operation.

On June 24, 1917, workers represented by the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) presented a list of demands to the mine owners that included increased safety measures, and a wage system that did not discriminate by race and was not tied to the market price of copper. 

While we don't have a curated exhibit about the deportation that you can visit, Special Collections holds many items and books about the event. 

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