Saturday, March 1, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 1

March 1, 1980 – On this date, Bridgeman’s announces it will stop using glass bottles later this month, and move solely to selling milk in paper cartons and plastic jugs.

Duluth News-Tribune; “Bridgeman’s relegates its glass bottles to past era”; March 1, 1980; p. A1.

Bridgeman’s milk for sale in Duluth, March 1, 1980

I worked at Bridgeman's my junior and senior years of high school, as well as weekends my freshman and sophomore years of college. I so remember these bottles, and have very happy memories of my years at Bridgeman's.

Friday, February 28, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 28

February 28, 2000 – While participating in the National Governors Association annual meeting at the White House, Minn. Gov. Jesse Ventura responded to a resolution approved by the Virginia Senate urging Minnesota to return a 28th Virginia Infantry flag captured by the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 during Pickett’s Charge.

“Absolutely not,'' Ventura said. ''Why? I mean, we won.''

“The Minnesota Historical Society [had] refused previous requests to return the flag, and its administrators say they have no intention of returning it. That could change if the Minnesota state government, which funds 65 percent of the society's budget, gets involved, but that doesn't seem likely.

'I think to the victor go the spoils,’ Ventura [added].

The 28th Virginia Infantry regiment, a re-enactment group based in the Roanoke area, has tried for years to get back the flag, which features the stars and bars of the Confederate emblem. The group and state lawmakers argue that it's an important part of the state's heritage.

‘But, we took it,’ Ventura cracked. ‘That makes it our heritage. And I can't believe an issue could actually come up from over 150 years ago. And anyone would worry about it. That's why I'm doing it a little tongue in cheek.’

One reason the flag is so coveted is the high casualties suffered. The battle left 80 percent of the 1st Minnesota and 90 percent of the Virginia 28th dead.

Chris Caveness, executive director of the 28th Virginia Infantry regiment, said he still hoped to get the flag back.

‘He hasn't received the resolution yet from the Virginia Assembly, which is to be delivered to the legislature as well as the governor,’ he said. ‘And we hope that cool heads will prevail and the law of the land will be upheld.’

He was referring to a 1905 law declaring that all flags be returned to their originating states. [On July 10, 1998], then-Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III rebuffed a request from Caveness' group, saying the law applied only to flags already in the War Department's possession. He also ruled that the group had no legal standing to request the flag.”

Photo taken at the Minnesota History Center Civil War Exhibit;
March 2–Sept. 8, 2013

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Feb. 28, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 27

February 27, 1973 – Designated “David Wheat Homecoming Day” by Duluth Mayor Ben Boo.1 Wheat, recently released Viet Nam POW, arrived in Duluth for the first time in eight years with his parents after being found medically sound by doctors at Great Lakes Naval Hospital near Chicago2.

1Duluth News-Tribune; “Twas a Great Day for Dave Wheat, Commander’s Back in Town”; February 28, 1973, p. 1.

2Duluth News-Tribune; “City POW Parents Joyful”; February 13, 1973; p. 1.

David Wheat

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 26

February 26, 1985 – Minneapolis native Prince won two Grammies during the 27th Grammy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles:
 -  Best Rhythm & Blues Song - (songwriter) Prince for "I Feel for You"
    performed by
Chaka Khan
 -  Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal – Prince and
    the Revolution for
 Purple Rain - Music From the Motion Picture

Prince Rogers Nelson

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 25

February 25, 1927 - On [this date], [Charles A.] Lindbergh and the owners of Ryan Airlines agreed on a price for the plane he would attempt to fly from New York to Paris. With engine and instruments, the total came to $10,580. Lindbergh made a down payment of $1,000. He made a second payment of $6,580 a few days later and paid the balance on April 28, the date of his first test flight in the soon-to-be historic plane [the Spirit of St. Louis].

Photo of sign taken at Charles A. Lindbergh Visitor Center, Little Falls, Minn.

Monday, February 24, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 24

February 24, 1918 – “Because of America's involvement in the war in Europe, Minnesota citizens are asked to limit sugar to three pounds a month per person and sugar is ordered to be sold only in five pound bags, with the grocers in charge of bookkeeping.”,_2-_none_in_desserts,_3-_less_on_cereals,_4-_less_in_coffee_or_tea,_5-_less_in_preserving,_6-_l_-_NARA_-_512507.jpg

Sunday, February 23, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 23

February 23, 1972 – The Kiesling House in New Ulm, Minn., was placed on the National Register of Historical Homes on this date.

The Kiesling House
Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Feb. 23, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Feb. 23, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included. 

Marker Text:


The Kiesling House is one of three downtown buildings in New Ulm to survive the Dakota War of 1862. Frederick W. Kiesling, blacksmith and ferrier, had built the modest frame house ($125) the year before the outbreak of the war. In August of 1862 New Ulm defenders marked the Kiesling House for torching in the event that the Dakota attack broke through the downtown barriers. The downtown defenses held even though the city lost about 75% of its buildings to fire.

In 1970 the family-owned residence was purchased for preservation and donated to the City of New Ulm by Dr/Mrs T.R. Fritsche, Mr/Mrs T.H. Schonlau, and Mr/Mrs Henry Somsen. Restoration monies came from donations as well as state and federal grants. Set in a small park-like square, the Kiesling House is listed on the National Registery of Historic Places (1972). For five years it housed the offices of the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce, and presently is home to the Council for the Arts New Ulm (CANU).
The marker was erected in 2002 to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Dakota War by the City of New Ulm and the Junior Pioneers of New Ulm and Vicinity.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Feb. 23, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included. 

Friedrich Kiesling

Kiesling was born in Kiffern, Saxony, Germany, on July 15, 1829. As a young man, Friedrich worked as a blacksmith, a trade that he later practiced in this city for thirty years. In November 1856, he married Caroline Richle. Four years later, they emigrated (sic) to America, coming directly to New Ulm where two brothers, August and Herman had already settled. In 1861, with a growing family, Kiesling built this house.

On August 18, 1862, after reports of attacks by Dakota Indians filtered into New Ulm, local citizens erected a barricade around the central part of the city, between Third North and Center Street. The breastworks ran behind Kiesling’s house, one of only two intact downtown buildings that remain from the time of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict.

Friedrich lived here until around 1897, when he moved to Winthrop to reside with his children. He died in 1912.