‘Blue-Collar Battleground’ opens at Chisholm museum

An image from the new exhibit “Blue-Collar Battleground: The Iron Range Labor Story” at Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm.

Job creation. Job training. Worker shortage. Part time work. Stagnant wages. Higher productivity. Health care. Retirement savings.

These words filter through our news like water down a pipe, presenting clear evidence that the “labor history” of America is hardly finished. Rather, we’re living in the continuation of an unresolved labor movement.

This Thursday, Dec. 7, the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm opens its new permanent exhibit: “Blue-Collar Battleground: The Iron Range Labor Story.” This display replaces and updates the previous long-standing labor exhibit at the museum.

From the press release:

The name Blue-Collar Battleground came from the different settings labor has had to battle through; from the underground mines, to the picket lines, and spy offices, to the halls of Washington D.C.

“This exhibit is very central to what the Iron Range is as a region”, says Allyse Freeman, Curator at MDC. From start to finish, this exhibit took a little over 3 years to complete. “It started with the Enough!:1916 Mesabi Range Strike exhibit then transitioned into this final exhibit”, says Freeman.

The exhibit builds on the success of the award-winning special exhibit “Enough! The Mesabi Strike of 1916” which closed last fall.

If you enjoyed the 1916 Mesabi Range Strike exhibit, then you will thoroughly enjoy Blue-Collar Battleground: The Iron Range Labor Story. The 1916 Mesabi Range Strike is a small part of history in the new exhibit as this encompasses the next 100 years since then. The only item on display from Enough! will be the Red Flag from a parade in Hibbing; everything else is new.

An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Minnesota Discovery Center. The event is free and open to the public. Appetizers are free and a cash bar will be available.

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