Saturday, April 5, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 5

April 5, 1920 - John Smith of Cass Lake, the noted Chippewa whose age is given as 135 years or more and well known as a friend of the whites in the days of the Sioux outbreaks, came to Deer River from Bena today and met old friends with whom he still likes to joke. Capt. John Smith is stooped and his eyes are fast failing, and he has had to be led about the streets.

Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Oldest Human Being ‘Is Going Blind,’ ‘Tis Said”; April 5, 1920; p. 1.

Ga-Be-Nah-Gewn-Wonce, also known as John Smith

from a postcard

Friday, April 4, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 4

April 4, 2000 - Gov. Jesse Ventura signed into law a package of proposals designed to tighten the state's sex offender laws. The bill commonly is referred to as ''Katie's Law'' after 19-year-old Katie Poirier of Barnum, who was abducted May 26, 1999, from a Moose Lake convenience store.

 Gov. Jesse Ventura

Thursday, April 3, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 3

April 3, 1906 – “The nine-months-old infant of Mr. and Mr. Frank Bovet, Chisholm, Minn., was shot dead as its mother held it in her arms in the kitchen of the Bovet home at the Glenn mining location. A stray bullet fired by boys who were indulging in target practice half a mile away, entered a window and penetrated the child’s skull, scattering its brains over the dress of the mother and killing the child instantly.”

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Infant Hit By Stray Bullet. Babe Instantly Killed in its Mother’s Arms.”; April 03, 1906; p.1

Interesting how journalism has changed over the last century. I don’t think the line “scattering its brains” would be included in a story today. Also, neither the child’s name nor its gender is ever mentioned.

This story was carried in a number of newspapers across the country, including The Atlanta Constitution, The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wis.) and The Grand Rapids Tribune (Grand Rapids, Wis.).

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 2

April 2, 2010 – NBC’s Dateline, a news magazine television show, devoted a full hour [this Friday night] to the murder mystery of Chris Jenkins, a University of Minnesota student who disappeared October 31, 2002. Jenkins was reportedly kicked out of the “Lone Tree Bar & Grill at 528 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis around midnight. It was the last time he was seen alive.”1

“Almost four months later, Chris’s body was found snagged on some tree branches in the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.
Police initially believed Chris either committed suicide or died accidentally after falling into water.” The case was reopened in 2006 after Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan took office, and his death was reclassified as a homicide.2



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 1

April 1, 2009 – Michael John Anderson, the first murderer referred to by the media as a ‘Craigslist Killer,’ was found guilty of the first degree murder of Katherine Ann Olson in Savage, Minn., in October 2007 and received a life sentence without parole. Olson had answered Anderson’s Craigslist ad for a nanny. They met at Anderson’s home, where he shot her in the back and killed her.

Michael John Anderson

Monday, March 31, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 31

March 31, 1920 - Four bandits, who attempted to rob the Farmer’s State Bank in Cedar, Minn., earlier today, were captured by a posse in a barn near Constance and lodged in jail at Anoka, after a four-hour gun battle.

The bandits were frightened away after they had blown out the outer door. A posse was quickly formed and followed them.

Another posse awaited them near Anoka, headed by Sheriff Pratt.

Caught between two fires, the bandits were forced to flee across swamps, and more than a hundred in the two posses followed. The bandits finally give up.

The police believe the same four robbed a St. Paul garage of $4,000 in cash and valuables last night and took a motor car.

Bemidji Daily Pioneer
; “Four Bandits are Captured After Attack on State Bank; Blew Open Outer Door of Cedar Farmers Bank; Posses Formed; Caught Between Two Fires of Pursuers; Believed to Be the Same Gang That Got $4,000 From Garage Last Night”; March 31, 1920; p. 1.

Today, Cedar is a community within the city of Oak Grove in Anoka County, Minn.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain March 31, 2014, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 30

March 30, 1955 – Marlon Brando won his first Oscar on this date for “On the Waterfront” at the 27th Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.1

Brando began developing his acting chops while attending Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault, Minn. 
He “excelled at theatre and did well in the school. In his final year (1943), he was put on probation for being insubordinate to a visiting army colonel during maneuvers. He was confined to his room, but sneaked into town, and was caught. The faculty voted to expel him, though he was supported by the students, who thought expulsion was too harsh. He was invited back for the following year, but decided instead to drop out of high school.”2



Marlon Brando