The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) is featuring a little-known chapter in American history in a poster set that will be on display at Mayville State University Sept. 14-19. “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” is a colorful set of bilingual posters with images and interviews by documentary photographer Leonard Nadel. The posters can be seen in in the corridors of the Education Building at Mayville State University between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. September 14, 15, 18, and 19. The goal of the Smithsonian poster set exhibit is to celebrate the impact and achievements of migrant farm workers by enabling people of all ages to learn more about the stories behind the Braceros.
Facing labor shortages on the home front during World War II, the United States initiated a series of agreements with Mexico to recruit guest workers for American farms and railroads. The Emergency Farm Labor Program, more familiarly known as the Bracero Program, enabled approximately two million Mexicans to enter the United States. While the work was often grueling, the program offered participants economic opportunity. The contributions made by these laborers have had significant impact on the political, economic, and social climate of both the United States and Mexico.
“Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” was organized by the National Museum of American history in partnership with the SITES, and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C. for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their share cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work, and play.
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves, and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history.
The Smithsonian Latino Center is dedicated to ensuring that Latino contributions to arts, sciences, and the humanities are highlighted, understood, and advanced through the development and support of public programs, scholarly research, museum collections, and educational opportunities at the Smithsonian Institution and its affiliated organizations across the United States.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Mayville State University is coordinating the appearance of “Bittersweet harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” on the Mayville State campus.