Saturday, September 28, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 28

September 28, 1955 – “The final [baseball] game at Nicollet Park was played [on this date]. The Minneapolis Millers played the Rochester Redwings. After the Park was demolished, the Miller's home was Metropolitan Stadium until the Minnesota Twins replaced them.”

Nicollet Park, Mpls.,Minn.

Friday, September 27, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 27

September 27, 1979 – The groundbreaking ceremony for the Arrowhead Bridge replacement – now the Bong Bridge – took place on this date. The bridge crosses Lake Superior between Duluth and Superior, Wis.

Bong Bridge

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 26

September 26, 1972 – Christine Jorgensen, the first person to become famous in the U.S. for having sex reassignment surgery, spoke to an overflowing crowd on this date in UMD’s Kirby Student Center ballroom about transsexualism.

Born George William Jorgensen, Jr., Jorgensen graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx in 1945 and was shortly afterwards drafted into the US Army.

“I don’t think there was any time in my childhood that I didn't know something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.

“The military was an extremely good thing for me. I had always lived a very cloistered life because I knew I was different. After living in close quarters, I found that I was not the only one with problems,” she told her audience.

Jorgenson was 24-years-old when she underwent surgery in Denmark in 1952 that transformed her from a man into a woman. She said she makes public appearances in the hopes she will help other people with confused sexual roles.

Duluth News-Tribune; “Christine Jorgensen Says She’s More Feminine Now”; September 27, 1972; p. 6.

 Christine Jorgensen

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 25

September 25, 1888 - The first meeting of the Delano Village Council was held in the new city hall on this date.

“The hall became the center of activities.  The fire department had a home downstairs. The council offices were also downstairs.  Upstairs was the place for meetings, dances and entertainment.  Church dinners, school graduation, basketball games, wedding dances and even a funeral was held in the hall upstairs. One Delano resident reported that sometimes wedding dances lasted two to three days. In the morning, after a long night of dancing, farmers would go home to do their chores, the townspeople did their work and in the evening they went back to dancing. The Delano Eagle, in the November 15, 1888 edition, gives this report on the first inhabitant of the new jail:  ‘The new jail was formerly opened and occupied by a drunken Swede Saturday night who was conducted to the handsome structure by several distinguished officers and citizens of the village. He indulged in a song and dance for short time and, after cooling off a little and declaring the house of correction a 'howling success' was liberated.’"

The original Delano City Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 11, 1979.

Delano City Hall

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain September 25, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 24

September 24, 1963 President John F. Kennedy gave a speech at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) during the Northern Great Lakes Region Conference of Land and People.

President John F. Kennedy,_White_House_color_photo_portrait.jpg

Monday, September 23, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 23

September 23, 1805 – “Zebulon Pike, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, meets with a party of about 150 Dakota at the confluence of the St. Peter’s (Minnesota) and Mississippi Rivers [in Minn.]. Pike’s commanding officer, Gen. James Wilkinson, wants to obtain sites for future military posts in case of war with Great Britain. Pike makes a deal with two Dakota leaders for roughly 100,000 acres of land; enough for the U.S. government to build a trading post and fort.

Though the boundaries are poorly defined, the agreement becomes the basis for U.S. claims on the land at the confluence. The ‘treaty’ was ratified by Congress in 1808, but since Pike didn’t have the authority of the U.S. Senate or the President, it was not an official government act. According to an 1856 Senate committee report, ‘There is no evidence that this agreement, to which there was not even a witness . . . was ever considered binding upon the Indians, or that they ever yielded up the possession of their lands under it.’”

Zebulon Pike

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 22

September 22, 1918 – A woman was killed this morning when her clothes became caught in a shaft at the Alger-Smith sawmill in West Duluth. Ruby Skinner’s left arm was torn off above the elbow, the bones of the arm shattered, her shoulder blade broken and her skull fractured in several places. 

Women were put to work in the mill two weeks ago and since that time about 50 have been employed there. It is the first serious accident to occur and was a severe shock to the woman’s companions.

The Duluth News Tribune; “Woman’s Clothes Catch in Shaft; Dies Soon After”; September 22, 1918; p. 6.