Saturday, August 25, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 25

August 25, 1975 – The Forum cafeteria was closed on this date by its operators, Forum Restaurants, Inc., Kansas City, Mo. “In its heyday in the 1950s the Forum was feeding 8,000 customers daily compared with about 1,500 daily in recent months.” Once a theater, the interior was “said to be the best living example of Art Deco in Minnesota.”
Minneapolis Tribune; “Forum Cafeteria is closed”; August 29, 1975; p. 10B.

See photos at:

When my sister and I were younger (much, much younger), my grandparents would drive us to downtown Minneapolis from northern Minn. every Christmas to look at the Dayton’s and Donaldson’s holiday windows. We always ate breakfast at the Forum, and I would get their fried corn meal mush (yum); I have never been able to find it on any other restaurant menu. The Forum brings back so many wonderful memories.

Friday, August 24, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 24

August 24, 1978 – “Thayer’s Hotel [in Annandale, Minn.] was put on the National Register of Historic Places [on this date]. As a result of being on the Register the outside configuration of the building cannot be changed. The only thing that can be changed on the outside of the building is the color. Being on the Register also protects the building from being moved or demolished. Since Thayer’s Hotel sits right on MN HWY 55, if it were not on the Register the state would have widened the highway into the living room of the hotel.”

“Aside from its historical value, Thayer’s Bed n’ Breakfast is also listed 5th in the United States as one of the most haunted places to stay. This is what draws many of the guests to stay here, as Thayer’s offers ghost tours, psychic readings, and murder mystery dinners. The murder mystery dinners are ranked 3rd in the nation. Guests visit from all over the country as well as around the world.”

“Thayer’s Bed n’ Breakfast was originally called the Annandale House. It was constructed as a railroad hotel with funding from the Soo Line Railroad Company. It functioned as a railroad hotel because they served beef and oyster and not everyone could afford the dinner, which cost $2.50 (today this would be equal to about $65).”

“Thayer’s Hotel was more technologically advanced than most businesses in the area at that time. They were the first building to have gaslights and electricity, which came in 1905.”'s%20Bed%20n'%20Breakfast

Thayer’s Bed n’ Breakfast, Annandale, Minn. 

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain August 24, 2012,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Other Haunted Places in Minnesota:

Forepaugh’s Restaurant in S.t Paul; see July 8, 2013 blog

The Jackson Hotel, now Billy’s Bar & Grill, Anoka, Minn.; see December 8, 2012 blog

LeDuc House, Hastings, Minn.; see October 30, 2013blog

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 23

August 23, 2007 – “University of Minnesota astronomers announced that they have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. The 1 billion light years across of nothing represented an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 22

August 22, 1956 - Paul Molitor was born in St Paul, Minn. He “is an American former Major League Baseball designated hitter and infielder. During his 21-year baseball career, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1978–92), Toronto Blue Jays (1993–95), and Minnesota Twins (1996–98). In 2004, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. [Molitor] was known for his exceptional hitting and speed.”

Paul Molitor

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 21

August 21, 1899 - Oscar R. Burkard “received the [Congressional] Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Sugar Point,”1 often referred to as “the Battle of Leech Lake, [which] was fought on October 5, 1898, between the 3rd U.S. Infantry and members of the Pillager Band of Chippewa Indians”2 on the Leech Lake Reservation in Cass County, Minnesota. A private in the Hospital Corps, he rescued several soldiers while under heavy fire from the Pillagers and continued to do so throughout the battle.
Burkard was awarded the Medal of Honor "’for distinguished bravery in action against hostile Indians.’  Aside from being the only non-combatant to be decorated from that engagement, Burkard was also the last man to receive the medal during the Indian Wars.”1

Oscar R. Burkard

Monday, August 20, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 20

August 20, 1802 - George Bonga, a fur trader of African American and Native American descent, was born on this date in what is now Minnesota [near Duluth]. “He was famous in Minnesota for being, as his brother Stephen claimed, ‘One of the first two black children born in the state.’ [Bonga] was also recognized for tracking down a suspected murderer in 1837, an Ojibwe named Che-Ga Wa Skung, [and] bringing the perpetrator back to justice at Fort Snelling. The ensuing criminal trial was reputedly the first in Minnesota.”

George Bonga

Sunday, August 19, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 19

August 19, 2005 – “Some 4,430 mechanics at Northwest Airlines, based in Eagan, Minnesota, went on strike at midnight as a 30-day cooling off period expired. The airline called for $176 million in concessions including 2,000 job cuts.”