1913 : Big Annie Arrested During Copper Strike

September 10, 2018 all-day

Picture of Big Annie from the Michigan Tech University Archives

On Sept. 10, 1913, Ana Clemenc, came to be known as “Big Annie,” when she gained national fame for being hauled off to jail during a protest at the Calumet mine.

Clemenc, married to a miner, supported the workers of the Western Federation of Miners, who went on strike for better wages and working conditions. She blocked a strikebreaker from entering a mine and refused to leave the street when asked by police.

“No, I’m not going. I have a right to stand here and quietly ask the scabs not to go to work,” Clemenc said.

She ended up being convicted of assault and was sentenced to pay a fine and spend time in jail. Her subsequent confrontations also received attentions from newspapers across the country, which referred to her as “Big Annie,” given her six-foot frame.

Source: Michigan Every Day

For another picture, see “Big Annie” Clemens carrying flag at strikers parade Calumet Ave. near C and H hospital. courtesy of the Michigan Tech University Archives.

For more information, see

Community in conflict : a working-class history of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike and the Italian Hall Tragedy / Gary Kaunonen and Aaron Goings.

Big Annie makes a cameo in in the novel Red jacket : a Lute Bapcat mystery / Joseph Heywood. Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, c2012.

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