Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964


This exhibition has ended; please see more recent blog entries for information on current exhibitions.

Regis University is hosting Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942 – 1964. This exhibition explores the bracero program, the largest guest worker program in American history. Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican nationals came to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts, which offered them much-needed work and economic opportunity. Small farmers, large growers, and farm associations in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and 23 other states hired Mexican braceros to provide manpower during peak harvest and cultivation times. By the time the program was canceled in 1964, an estimated 4.6 million contracts had been awarded. Their dramatic story reveals an important but overlooked chapter in our nation’s history – which remains highly relevant today.

Organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) and circulated by SITES, this bilingual exhibition consists of 15 freestanding, illustrated banners. The exhibition combines recent scholarship, powerful photographs from the Smithsonian’s collection, and audio excerpts from oral histories contributed by former contract workers.

The exhibition will be on display in the Dayton Memorial Library from August 18th through October 28th.

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