Saturday, April 6, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 6

April 6, 1846 – “Dred Scott, an illiterate slave, bravely made his mark on a petition designed to ‘establish his right to freedom’ in an American court of law. This action began a legal odyssey that didn’t end until eleven years later in the U.S. Supreme Court.”1  “The Scotts’ case was based on the fact that [Dred and his wife Harriet] lived as enslaved people in free territory at Fort Snelling and other places, and therefore should be granted their freedom.”2



Dred Scott

Friday, April 5, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 5

April 5, 1830 – “The first work of fiction set in Minnesota was published in Boston. It was stories about fur traders and Indians titled Tales of the Northwest by William J. Snelling, son of Josiah Snelling for whom Fort Snelling was named.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 4

April 4, 1853 - Francis R. Delano assumed office as the first warden of the Minnesota State Prison in Stillwater, Minn. on this date.

Minnesota State Prison in Stillwater, Minn.,_by_James_Sinclair.png

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 3

April 3, 1982 – The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened on this date, replacing Metropolitan Stadium, which is on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington, and Memorial Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 2

April 2, 1871 – “Organized in 1854 as the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, the church first met in the Herman Sandhoff home. The church was built in 1880 on land donated by the Sandhoff family (now Mt. Olivet Chapel) and called the ‘Immanuel Evangelical Church of the Evangelical and Reformed Church of North America.’ Worship services were conducted in German until the early 1900’s. It was completely restored in 1998 as the Mt Olivet Chapel.

Christoph was the first person buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery on [this date]. Other early members of Mount Olivet such as the Sandhoff, Schmidt, Roggerman, and Hoppenrath families are buried there.”

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain April 2, 2013, 
as long as acknowledgement included.

Monday, April 1, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 1

April 1, 1880 - Long after the Civil War, Sergeant John G. Merritt received his Medal of Honor on this date in a letter from Alexander Ramsey, Secretary of War. Merritt was honored for extraordinary heroism on July 21, 1861, while serving with Company K, 1st Minnesota Infantry, in action at Bull Run, Virginia, for gallantry in action; he was wounded while capturing a Confederate flag in advance of his regiment.

Sergeant John G. Merritt

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Family History: More Than Just a Hobby

Everyone knows that having dinners together as a family is important. What you may not know is that what you talk about during this time of family togetherness may be even more important than what you eat.1

In his book, The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Your Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More, author Bruce Feiler discusses a study where Emory University researchers gave children a ‘do you know’ test. Do you know how your parents met? Do you know where your grandparents were born? Do you know what kind of job your grandparents had?

“Children who had the highest scores on the ‘do you know’ test had higher self-esteem and a greater sense of self-control over their lives. The ‘do you know’ test was the single biggest predictor of emotional health.”1

The reason, according to an article about Feiler’s book in the February 13, 2013, issue of Parade magazine, is  that children who know more about their family’s history “have a strong sense of ‘intergenerational self’ — they understand that they belong to something bigger than themselves, and that families naturally experience highs and lows.”

My Grandpa Bill in his WWI uniform and gas mask

Do your kids, nieces and nephews a big favor: tell them about great-grandpa in WWI; talk about where their grandparents (your parents) were born and where they went to school; discuss old family holiday traditions and disclose stories about family members that had illnesses or problems that they overcame.

My great-grandmother Louisa Kniss died after giving birth to my grandma, who survived and was raised primarily by her maternal grandparents in Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Learning your family’s history is not only fascinating, it can heighten your children’s self-esteem, lower their levels of behavioral disturbance, and increase their belief that they can affect the world around them.2

Do you know where your grandparents were born?

LLet me help you find out what parts of history your family had a role in.

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

For more information on my Family History Research services, visit and click on Family History Research in the left-hand column.

“Control The Chaos With 'Secrets Of Happy Families'”

“An ‘Intergenerational Sense of Self’ Is a Source of Strength for Kids and Family Members”

“The Intergenerational Self Subjective Perspective and Family History”


On This Date in Minnesota History: March 31

March 31, 1918 – The national daylight savings plan went into effect for the first time on this date. People were told to set their clocks forward an hour Saturday night (March 30) as the time change would take place on this date (Sunday) at 2 a.m.
The Pine Knot; “Saving an Hour of Daylight, The Whole Nation Will Set the Clocks an Hour Ahead Next Sunday, March 31”; Cloquet, Minn.; March 29, 1918; p. 1.