Saturday, September 29, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 29

Sept. 29, 1983 - Two Ruthton, Minn., bankers, Rudy Blithe and Toby Thulin,1 came to meet a potential buyer of a repossessed farm. “Instead, they were met by Jim Jenkins and his son Steven, the family they'd repossessed the property from three years earlier. And, the Jenkins were there for revenge.”2 Both bankers were shot and killed. Jim and Steve Jenkins escaped to Texas where the father committed suicide.

“Steven Jenkins, barely [18-years-old] at the time, professes his innocence but is convicted of the murders. Seventeen years later he would admit in an interview that he had killed the bankers.”3

Steven Jenkins

Friday, September 28, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 28

September 28, 1935 – “Joan Growe was born in Minneapolis [on this date]. She served as Minnesota's secretary of state from 1975-1998, the first woman elected to statewide office without first having been appointed. She championed voter and election reform, including the program of vote by mail and motor voter registration.”

Joan Growe

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 27

September 27, 1990 – Hibbing native and professional basketball player and coach, Kevin McHale, appeared on Season 9, Episode 2 of Cheers. “Sam tries to beat Gary at his own game in a grudge basketball game by recruiting Boston Celtics' star Kevin McHale as a substitute bartender at Cheers.”

Kevin McHale

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 26

September 26, 1985 – The Minneapolis Armory was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on this date.1

“The armory was built for the Minnesota National Guard in 1935-36 and was the costliest single building in Minnesota supported by a Public Works Administration grant. The building is an example of the PWA Moderne style, a design characterized by strong geometry, bold contouring and integrated sculpture ornamentation. The building was designed by St. Paul architect P.C. Bettenburg, who was also a major in the Minnesota National Guard.

From the late 1930s through the 1970s, it was a venue for civic events, including concerts, political conventions and sporting events such as Golden Gloves tournaments. The building was used by the Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association as a part time home between 1947–59, and as its primary home court for the 1959–60 NBA season. The National Guard ceased operations at the armory in 1980.

Hennepin County bought the armory in 1989 for 4.7 million dollars, with plans to place a new county jail on the site. The Minnesota Historical Society sued to stop its destruction and in 1993 the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the structure was protected by state law and could not be torn down because of its historical status. In 1998, the county sold the building for 2.6 million dollars USD to a private company for use as a parking structure on condition that it be preserved. That is its present use.

Minneapolis native Prince used the building to shoot the music video for ‘1999’ in 1982. [Sixteen] years later, Aerosmith recorded the video for their song ‘I Don't Want to Miss a Thing’ in the armory.”2


Minneapolis Armory

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain September 26, 2012, as long as acknowledgement included.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 25

September 25, 1992 – A thirty-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, Officer Jerry Haaf was taking a coffee break and reading the newspaper at the Pizza Shack when “two assailants from the street gang, ‘Vice Lords,’ came from behind and fired several bullets into his back. A multi-agency investigation into the murder of Officer Jerry Haaf was started. After months of work and hundreds of pages of statements and interviews, the killers were convicted and sent to prison.”

In June 1993, the City of Minneapolis dedicated and named a new parking ramp near city hall for him.

Jerry Haaf Memorial Parking Ramp, Minneapolis, MN

Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain September 25, 2012, as long as acknowledgement included.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 24

September 24, 1896 - Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, author of the Great Gatsby, was born in St. Paul, Minn., on this date. He was named for his second cousin three times removed, Francis Scott Key, author of the National Anthem. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 23

September 23, 1939 – A monument is dedicated commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle between the Chippewa and the Sioux in ‘Battle Hollow,’ a ravine just north of Stillwater. The monument [was] erected by the National Youth Administration (NYA) in partnership with the State of Minnesota and the City of Stillwater. Father Philip Gordon, a full–blooded Chippewa, [delivered] the dedicatory address. He, along with other Chippewa, then [sat] down with members of the Sioux nation to smoke the pipe of peace, reconciling the two nations after 100 years.”

Indian Battle Ground
In this ravine at daybreak July 3, 1839, a body of Chippewa returning from Fort Snelling where a Sioux had been killed by other Chippewa. A bloody battle took place in which the Chippewa losses were about 50 killed and wounded. The Sioux losses were small.

The plaque can be found in the courtyard of the Terra Springs Condominiums,
Stillwater, Minn.

Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain September 23, 2012, as long as acknowledgement included.