Thursday, January 9, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 9

And we think politicians are crazy today…

January 9, 1910
– Hon. John Lind, the retiring governor of the state of Minn., called on Harry T. Black, the managing editor of the St. Paul Dispatch, this afternoon. He didn’t stay long. A few words, a few blows, a short scuffle, and the governor retired.

Months ago, Gov. Lind concluded the only salve that would heal the wound of being called guilty of treason by the Republican newspaper would be found in a fist to fist or fist to face encounter with the managing editor of that paper. The encounter occurred, the fist and face exchanged greeting, and the old incident was again closed.

After the harsh charge was printed, Lind requested that Black print a retraction. Black replied that the paper was just out of retractions. The governor then dropped the matter with the determination, it seems, to give it his attention as soon as he had laid aside the dignity of the gubernatorial office, which he did at noon this afternoon when he handed the reins over to Gov. Van Sant.

Two hours later Lind rode the elevator up to Black’s office, where he again asked for a retraction, and Black again refused, telling Lind, “We’re not going to do anything about it. It’s up to you.”

The governor obviously felt the same way, for he let drive, catching Black full in the face. His blow wasn’t as hard as a horse would kick, but it stung a bit. Another pass was made, and then the newspaper man closed in on the governor, and they did a shuffle around the room. In a few seconds, other members of the staff appeared and separated the two men. Gov. Lind picked up his silk hat, which had rolled or been knocked off, adjusted his collar and walked out. He was satisfied.

Black remembered the incident as follows:  “Mr. Lind came in here, talked a few minutes and then reached over and struck me with a ring, I believe. What could a man do under the circumstances other than eject the aggressor from his office? That is what I did. Mr. Lind is not physically a man with whom a satisfactory fight is possible.”

St. Paul Globe; “Wiped Out an Old Score; Gov. Lind Disposes of a Grievance He Had Against Harry T. Black; Charge Made in Dispatch; The Retiring Official and the Managing Editor Get Together Without Doing Any Particular Harm;” Jan. 10, 1901; P. 2.

Minn. Gov. John Lind

In office
January 2, 1899 – January 7, 1901

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