Annie Clemenc, aka Big Annie, born Anna Klobucher

As I type this from Providence, RI.... tomorrow I will finish my trip in Chicago.  I plan on visiting the grave of Annie Clemenc, as she is known in the Copper Country and the Michigan's Hall of Fame.  She was the President of the Womens Alliance, supporting the men in the Big 1913 Copper Strike, Calumet, MI.  She was a prominent figure and risked her life several times for the cause.  She carried an American Flag that was bigger than herself, leading demonstration parades.... daily.  Mother Jones even came to the Copper Country and marched with these miners.   Annie was married to a miner, her father and brother miners.  They were striking for better pay, safe working conditions, reasonable work hours.  11 hour days, 6 days per week was too much.  Annie was beaten, knocked down and jailed.  She along with other women were instrumental in organizing the Christmas party for the children of the Copper Country.  The strike was wearing everyone thin.. They were still demonstrating in the snow!  The Christmas party would bring up moral.  During the party an unknown agitator yelled "Fire".  What happened  next still reverberates in this town.  The party was in the 2nd story of the Italian Hall on 7th Street.  Parents, Grandparents, children were fleeing down the stairs.  Tripping, falling on top of each other.... within a matter of minutes 73 people died.  64 of them were children.  Strangled and suffocated while they trampled on top of each other.

Annie Clemenc was only about "24" at this time  (if memory serves me).  She was inducted into the Michigan Hall of Fame for her achievements in "Labor".  The induction ceremony was in 1996.  There was no representative there from the Copper Country.  From what I understand, if people would have been notified.... there would have been a presence.  This somewhat disturbs me.  On the internet, her grave marker shows "Anna Shaws" (last name of her 2nd husband).   She is buried just a few miles from where I stay in Chicago (I have just found out).  I look forward to sitting with her.  I'm surprised there is no other marker out there for her, besides Anna Shaws.  She was a hero in the 1913-1914 Copper Country Strike and deserves her recognition.  What is also interesting is, my Croatian friends in Chicago have put together a weekend event of workshops run by a world renowned medium.  I am unable to attend the workshops due to my work schedule.... but have just received an email from the medium that he was able to schedule a reading with me.  I cannot wait to report what happens after tomorrow.  This will be my first ever "reading".

"The Story" that I am writing takes place during the 1913-1914 Strike and Italian Hall Tragedy.  I cannot believe I will be visiting Annie Clemenc tomorrow (aka "Big Annie").  Actually... I take this back.... I do believe very much that I will be visiting the grave of Big Annie.

Also... All this time researching.... I thought Annie Clemenc was Croatian.... some of the books said she was a 6 foot Croatian lady.  It turns out both her mother and father are from Crnomelj, Slovenia.  Crnomelj is right across the Kupa River from Croatia...very close to where my Grandfather came from.  My Grandmother was Slovenian AND was from Crnomelj! My next visit to Croatia, I will go to my Grandmothers village in Slovenia to find relatives and to try to find relatives of Annie.  Three years ago I was in my Grandfathers village in Cepac, Croatia.

 

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