Tuesday, November 20, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 20

November 20, 1919 – Vilhjalmor Stefansson, Artic explorer, thinks Minneapolis is cold.


Vilhjalmor Stefansson

Arriving this evening from the West Canadian coast, he drew his overcoat tightly about him, turned up the collar and kicked his feet together, trying to remain comfortable.

Most of Minneapolis strutted about tonight with coats unbuttoned, while the mercury played about the 45-degree above mark in an extremely mild pre-winter night.

The explorer, who spent six years with the Eskimo tribes in the Land of the Midnight Sun, admitted that he had “summered” through ice-bound islands when it was much colder than now, but recently he has been in the southwestern part of the Canadian coast, where Indian summer is still hovering.

He proved Minneapolis was cold with figures showing that winter temperatures at the North Pole are only five degrees lower than in the northwest.

“The best information we have,” he said, “shows that it is between 55 and 60 degrees below zero in mid-winter at the pole. Government records show that 55 degrees is a common occurrence in the Northwest each winter."
That the Arctic Circle is unfriendly, dreary, desolate and no habitation because of widely advertised ice-bergs, lack of food and impossible temperatures was denied by Stefansson.


“There is plenty of food,” he continued, “it is not terribly and impossibly cold. That is all story-book lore. There is green grass and verdure on every speck of land as far north as explorers have gone. True, the summers are shorter, but still there are possibilities for raising stock and vegetables.”

Stefansson is credited with being the only northern explorer to furnish food for his party from the area travelled. At sea, the seal furnishes food, and on land it is the caribou.

1


He pointed out that numerous exploring parties had trekked the Arctic Circle and starved to the last man because they did not know how to take advantage of the natural resources. He said that he never suffered for lack of food; neither had his men.

“How the world retains the idea that the North is so frigid and uninhabitable,” continued the explorer, “is a mystery that I cannot fathom. Even Canadians do not know the conditions existing in their own northern possessions.

“Americans have made wonderful progress in the propagation of reindeer in Alaska. There are now 200,000 of the animals thriving there, and many are already on marketing in the United States.”

A Minneapolis wholesale meat concern, Stefansson said, has contracted for 5,000 carcasses of reindeer. They are due here now.

“It costs but $1 a year to raise a reindeer,” he said, “and $2.50 will bring an animal to full market maturity. It costs $2 more to butcher, freeze and ship a carcass to Seattle.

“The average freight charge from Seattle to Midwest points is $4, but the hide of a reindeer alone sells for this much, while the entire carcass is worth $10 at present market figures.”

Stefansson would much rather stalk the ice fields than travel on railroads in Canada and the United States. A month among bergs usually fattens him 15 pounds, he said, but in the last month he has lost this much in weight.


In his first Arctic cruise, Steffansson discovered the “blond” Eskimo. This was in 1906. Again in June, 1913, with a party of 26, he left Victoria, B. C., for another tour of exploration for the Canadian government.

A year later he discovered a new continent or large island north of Prince Patrick Island. He made geological and botanical reports to the Canadian government.


Prince Patrick Island, upper left2

Stefansson was born in Arnes, Manitoba, Nov. 3, 1879, and made his first northern expedition to Iceland in 1903. He graduated from Harvard divinity school, taught school, sold insurance, lectured, was a reporter and edited a newspaper in N. D.

He was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Nelson at the Leamington Hotel this evening. He left at 10:30 tonight for Chicago.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Stefansson, Arctic Explorer, in Minneapolis; Shivers From Cold. Only Five Degrees Colder at Pole; Tales of Frigidity Held Myths.”; Nov. 21, 1919; pp. 1 & 4.

1http://www.drbass.com/stefansson2.html

2
https://www.infoplease.com/atlas/northwest-territories
           __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


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Monday, November 19, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 19

November 19, 1959 - Rocky and His Friends made its ABC debut on [this date]. Audiences loved Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose and their adventures in Frostbite Falls, Minn. “In its first season, Rocky and His Friends topped the Nielsen ratings for daytime shows. In 1961, it joined NBC’s evening lineup. Renamed The Bullwinkle Show, the primetime version was produced in color. New characters were added to the cast, including the lovable, but bumbling Dudley Do-Right of the Canadian Mounties and his nemesis, Snidely Whiplash.” 

http://www.generalmills.com/~/media/Files/history/history_book.ashx 


  

http://rockyandbullwinkle.wikia.com/wiki/Rocky_and_Bullwinkle_Wiki
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If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


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Sunday, November 18, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 18

November 18, 1983 – Larry Race was sentenced to life imprisonment for the death of his wife Debbie. The State had accused him of staging a boating accident on Lake Superior to kill his wife. Her body was found May 12, 1982, on a Duluth shoreline; she had died of hypothermia in the 35-degree water after the inflatable rescue raft she was on sunk. The prosecution contended Race punctured holes in the raft to kill his wife for $108,000 in insurance and to get out of his 14-year marriage.

Race was released from prison in 2005. His children still believe him to be not guilty.

Duluth News-Tribune & Herald; “Race convicted of murder”; November 18, 1983, p. 1.

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=79596



Larry Race

https://coms.doc.state.mn.us/publicviewer/OffenderDetails/Index/128295/Search
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If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 15

November 15, 1919 – Thirty-two Luverne, Minn., residents were welcomed home today by a large delegation, headed by a band, after being acquitted in federal court in Mankato on the charge of kidnapping, tarring and feathering of John Meintz.



John Meintz1

Meintz had requested personal damages of $100,000 for the treatment he’d received on the evening of August 19, 1918. The jury denied him any damages, after deliberating one and a half hours.

Judge Wilbur F. Booth, in charging the jury, said that the evidence was overwhelming in support of the contention that Meintz was disloyal (by not supporting war bonds) and that there was a strong feeling against him in the community.

The action of the Luverne citizens in staging a celebration was taken as an indication of strong approval of the acquittal verdict.  

The Minneapolis Sunday Tribune; “All Luverne Greets 32 Citizens Freed in Tar-Feather Case; Court Vindicates Men Accused of Punishing John Meintz as Disloyalist.”; November 16, 1919; p. 1.

http://www.historybyzim.com/2012/06/john-meints-wwi-anti-german-sentiment/


1http://maryannkreitzer.blogspot.com/2011_09_01_archive.html

Luverne man sues townspeople who tarred and feathered and ran him out of town for not supporting war bonds; see Nov. 7, 2018 blog

           __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 13


November 13, 1982 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., “after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans. As a National Memorial it was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same day.”1

There are 1,072 Minnesotans listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.2  

1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial

2http://www.cantho-rvn.org/VN_Mem/Statetwn/mn.htm



Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain November 13, 2012, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  

           __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


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Monday, November 12, 2018

On this Date in Minnesota History: November 12


November 12, 1914 – The seven small children of Gideon Oinonnen, a victim of the Sibley mines disaster at Ely this past Monday, and whose mother is in the Fergus Falls insane asylum, will not have to face a winter of want and starvation alone. The protecting arm of the state has wrapped itself around the little colony of unfortunates and it is likely that all will be made wards of the state at the next sitting of the juvenile court.



Oinonnen, father of the children, is one of the six entombed miners buried beneath thousands of tons of rock and ore in a collapsed shaft of the Sibley Mine. Since the fatal accident, four forces of rescue workers have been working day and night in tunneling towards the imprisoned miners. None of the bodies have yet been discovered. It is believed that they are buried 200 feet below the surface.


Sibley Mine1

All of the men who were caught in the death trap were married and leave families, but by far the most pitiable case is that of the Oinonnen family. The mother is insane and has been an inmate of the Fergus Falls state asylum since last May. Her seven children range in age from 12 to 1-1/2 years. The three oldest are boys, then come twin girls, aged 4, a boy, 3, and a baby sister, 18 months old.

Upon learning of the destitute circumstances of the Oinonnen orphans, R. D. McKercher, agent for the Duluth Humane Society, made a trip to Ely, where he found the youngsters in dire poverty. Today McKercher brought the seven children to Duluth and placed them in the Children’s Home, where they were fitted with clean and warm clothing and will be temporarily cared for.

As soon as the body of their father is recovered from the mine, McKercher will take the older children back to Ely to attend the funeral. He has also written to the Owatonna authorities to arrange for the commitment of the children to the state public school.

The young orphans have not yet fully realized their situation. The three older boys seem to understand that something has happened to their father, but seem to cling to the hope that rescuers at the mine will save his life.

The children look upon McKercher as their best friend and while coming to Duluth from Ely could not be coaxed away from their benefactor by passengers on the train. They clung to his side until he finally turned them over to the matron of the Children’s Home.

The children are bright for their age and it is possible that homes will be found for some of the unfortunates before they are committed and taken away to the state institution.

The Duluth Herald; “Mother in Fergus Falls Asylum; Father Entombed in Ely Mine; Children’s Home Takes Children”; Nov. 13, 1914; p. 8.
______________________________________

The body of Gideon Oinonnen was found Saturday, Nov. 14. He was crushed to a pulp and with every bone in his body broken, lying about 70 feet from the surface, 113 hours after the accident.2

Wilhelmina Oinonnen, the children’s mother died in 1953 in the Anoka State Asylum, Grow Township, where she had lived as a patient since about 1915.3

1https://www.ely.org/_site_components/uploads/item_files/file-1131.pdf


2
Tower Weekly News; “Survives Terrible Experience”; Nov. 20, 1914; p. 1.

3https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53867425/wilhelmina-oinonen

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If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
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Sunday, November 11, 2018

On Ths Date in Minnesota History: November 11

November 11, 1857 – Stillwater Prison Warden Douglass Rigg accepted a committee recommendation to discontinue the last uses of hickory striped clothing, and this the last vestige of an era in which prisoners everywhere wore clothing of coarse stripes has come to an end.

Hickory material was used most commonly for mattresses and pillow covers, has been used for clothing in some work assignments here, but will be replaced by khaki in the kitchen and chambray in the shops. The recommendation approved by the warden designates three standard uniforms, "Class A"(Dress khakis with green coat in winter); "Class B"(Work khakis); and "Class C" (work denims and blue chambray shirts). The hickory stripe shirts and trousers will be worn until they are no longer serviceable. When all extra hickory material is used up, no further supply will be purchased.” 

http://projects.wchsmn.org/reference/events/tradition-stripes-prison-end/



http://nathanbyrne.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/get-out-of-jail-free-card.jpg
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If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

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