Saturday, April 13, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 13

April 13, 1907 – Minnesota Governor Harold E. Stassen was born in West St. Paul, Minn., on this date, the fourth of five children. “Stassen was later best known for being a perennial candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States, seeking it 12 times between 1944 and 2000 (1944, 1948, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000), but never winning it or, after 1952, even coming close.”

Governor Harold E. Stassen

Friday, April 12, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 12

April 12, 1961 – “The NFL assigned the Vikings to the Western Conference. Minnesota joined Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the conference.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 11

April 11, 1680 – “Father Louis Hennepin explored the Mississippi [River] by canoe, [and] was captured by a group of Dakota [on this date]. During captivity he [was] the first white man to see the Falls of St. Anthony, which he named for his patron saint. On July 25, explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut arranged for Hennepin's release.”

Father Louis Hennepin

St. Anthony Falls today, Minneapolis, Minn.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain April 11, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 10

April 10, 1928 - Courage Center was founded and incorporated on this date as the Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults. Since that time, the organization has been dedicated to meeting the changing needs of children and adults with disabilities. Their first advocacy victory came in 1931, when Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson signed a bill providing school transportation for children with disabilities in rural areas.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 9

April 9, 1963 - Wayne F. Brandt identified the gun handle pieces found at the scene of Carol Thompson’s murder as being from his gun stolen from his Minneapolis apartment on Feb. 14. A traveling salesman, Brandt was out of town and had not seen the photos of the gun published in the Twin Cities area newspapers. “Brandt told [the St. Paul Police] that he had carved the distinctive black and white plastic handle grips for the 4-inch barrel German Luger automatic while he was a student at St. Cloud state college.”1

The pistol handle pieces shown in newspapers.3

St. Paul Police had announced on April 5 that the man who killed Thompson was carrying a 7.65 Luger automatic pistol with a specially made black and white plastic grip, which had been shown to every gunsmith in the Twin Cities area – approximately 100 to 150 shops – but no one recognized it.2

According to St. Paul Police Chief Lester McAuliffe “it was assumed the murderer hit Mrs. Thompson, home alone at the time, with the weapon, breaking the handle and the clip button and making the pistol unworkable.”2

1St. Paul Pioneer Press; “Gun in Thompson Slaying Identified;
April 10, 1963; p. 1.
2St Paul Pioneer Press; “Police Show Pistol Parts”;
April 6, 1963; p. 9.
3 1963 issue of Front Page Detective4

St. Paul Police Chief Lester McAuliffe4

Murder of Carol Thompson; see March 6, 2013 blog

Thieves admit to stealing and selling gun used in Carol Thompson murder; see April 17, 2013 blog

Suspects arrested in Carol Thompson’s murder; see April 19, 2013 blog

Suspect implicates another as actual murderer in Carol Thompson case; see April 21, 2013 blog

T. Eugene Thompson represented one of the suspects in his wife’s murder; see April 23, 2013 blog

Pistol used to bludgeon Carol Thompson found; see April 30, 2013 blog

T. Eugene Thompson walks out on grand jury; see May 2, 2013 blog

Getaway car in Carol Thompson murder located; see May 3, 2013 blog

Blood-stained trousers believed to have been worn by Carol Thompson’s murderer found; May 9, 2013 blog

Suspect in Carol Thompson’s murder confesses, implicates T. Eugene Thompson; see June 20, 2013 blog

T. Eugene Thompson arrested in his wife’s murder; see June 21, 2013 blog

T. Eugene Thompson’s role in wife’s murder revealed to public; see June 22, 2013 blog

Minn. Supreme Court affirms T. Eugene Thompson’s conviction; see Jan. 7, 2014 blog

Minn. Supreme Court denies T. Eugene Thompson’s attempt to collect wife’s insurance death benefits; see Feb. 10, 2014 blog

Monday, April 8, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 8

April 8, 1909 – “Biwabik Township (T. 58N, R. 16W) and its city in sections 1-4, 9-11, on the Mesabi Iron Range, have an Ojibwe name, meaning "iron." The city was incorporated as a village on November 10, 1892, and reincorporated and separated from the township on [on this date]; its post office began in 1893.”

“Biwabik was the first of the now existing Mesabi Range towns to be incorporated - as a village, the first to be served by two railroads (the Duluth, Missabe and Northern and the Duluth and Iron Range vied in extending their lines to the rich mines); it had the first large mine on the Mesabi (the Biwabik), which was the first to be leased to an outside furnace (see The Iron Ore Ranges), and was the first to use a steam shovel in mining operations.”

Main Street looking west, Biwabik Minnesota, 1900's

Sunday, April 7, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 7

April 7, 1945 – Michael Colalillo was born in Hibbing on December 1, 1925. “He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor in WWII as a Private First Class in a battle [on this date], near Untergriesheim, Germany. [Colalillo] received the medal at age 20 on January 9, 1946, from President Harry Truman in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. He was one of three WWII Medal of Honor recipients in Minnesota.”

Michael Colalillo's brick displayed at the Duluth Veterans Memorial.