Smithsonian Shares Compelling Story of the Bracero Program with Communities Nationwide through Educational Poster Set

September 20, 2012
News Release

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The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) will feature a little-known chapter in American history as its fall 2012 free resource for schools, migrant education centers, museums and libraries across the country. “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964,” a colorful set of six bilingual posters with images and interviews by documentary photographer Leonard Nadel, is based on the traveling exhibition by the same name, currently touring the United States.

The goal of the poster sets 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. Online educational resources and downloadable poster files are available at https://www.sites.si.edu/s/topic/0TO36000000L5N3GAK/bittersweet-harvest-the-bracero-program-1942-1964.

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 2 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 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition descriptions and tour schedules visit www.sites.si.edu.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, visit americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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.

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SI-346-2012