The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County introduces NEW exhibit called Bittersweet Harvest

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Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 is a bilingual traveling panel exhibit exploring the roots of Mexican migrant labor to the U.S., and began touring the state in fall 2013. The bracero (or manual labor) program was the largest guest worker program in American history, resulting in millions of Mexican nationals on short-term labor contracts in 28 states, including Tennessee.                             

The exhibit uses oral history and archival photos to highlight the experience of the workers, their impact on U.S. agriculture, and the resonance of the program in communities today.

“We are pleased to offer this wonderful educational program to our community,” said Leigh Ann Gardner, Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. “And introduce our audiences to this important part of our nation’s history.”


The exhibit will be on view at the Heritage Center from May 1 through May 30, 2014.  Also scheduled is a discussion program, “Life on the Fence: A Long View of Guest Worker Programs,” facilitated by Dr. Antonio Vásquez of MTSU’s Department of Global Studies.  The discussion will be held on May 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM. The discussion is free, but registration is required, so contact the Heritage Center at 217-8013 or  Both the exhibit and the discussion are bilingual.

Additional Information:


Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program was organized by the National Museum of American History in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.  All photographs by Leonard Nadal.

The exhibition tour in Tennessee is made possible by Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Location of Exhibit:

The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. The Heritage Center is located at 225 West College Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. For more information call (615) 217-8013, email, or visit

The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County is a joint venture between the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation’s Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, Main Street:  Murfreesboro/Rutherford County, and the City of Murfreesboro. Additional support comes from Rutherford County government and State Farm Insurance.

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