Saturday, May 3, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 3

May 3, 1950 – The Seifert quadruplets, Monica, Marie, Martha and Mike, were Minnesota’s first set of quads when they were born on this date. At the time, there “were just a dozen other quads in the country. Born two months premature, the Seifert babies had to be doubled up in the two incubators at Sleepy Eye Hospital [Minn.].”  Their notoriety and “attraction was so strong that beginning at age 2, the quads were on display through the run of the State Fair for three consecutive years.” People paid a quarter and could watch the quads as long as they liked.

The Seifert Quadruplets

Photo taken at Minnesota State Fair

Friday, May 2, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 2

May 2-3, 1954 - May snowstorms are rare in Minnesota. One of the largest happened on this date. “A swath of 10 inches to a foot fell from Clearwater to the Iron Range, closing rural schools and setting May snowfall records that stand to this day.”

Thursday, May 1, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 1

May 1, 1951 – The debut of now baseball legend Willie Mays with the Minneapolis Millers  happened on this date. “Just a year out of high school, 19-year-old Willie Mays took the field [on] opening day at Nicollet Park. More than 6,000 fans watched the rookie notch three hits and make a ‘sparkling catch’ against the flagpole.”

“Two weeks later, the New York Giants called up the hot-hitting Mays and made him their center fielder.”

Willie Mays

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 30

April 30, 1974 – A book listing serial numbers of the $1 million in ransom bills paid in the kidnapping of Mrs. Virginia Piper was mailed by the FBI to 8,000 service stations and on- and off-sale liquor outlet locations in Minnesota. The serial-number books were previously mailed to all banks in the U.S.

As a result, by June 14, 1974, there were reports to the FBI on some of the $20 Federal Reserve notes paid as ransom in the July 27, 1972, kidnapping of Mrs. Piper. The Piper case reportedly remains the only unsolved kidnapping since the FBI has assumed jurisdiction in such cases.

St. Paul Dispatch; “Ransom, Money Numbers Circulated”; June 14, 1974; p. 24.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 29

April 29, 1861 - Josias Ridgate King, a member of the Pioneer Guards, St. Paul, Minn., is generally acknowledged to be “the first to volunteer for the Union cause.”  He reportedly “bounded on to the stage [during a Pioneer Guard rally meeting] before the [volunteer sign-up] book could be handed around and signed. One version has him declaring, ‘Here's another for the war,’ while another has him declaring, ‘I'll be the first to sign.’

Josias Ridgate King

In St Paul, at the intersection of Kellogg Blvd and Summit Ave, there is a tall statue dedicated to the men who served during the Civil War. Atop the fifty foot shaft is an excellent sculpture of a soldier, three times larger than life. Josias posed as the model for the sculpture and his face can easily be recognized as the statue's face.”

Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain April 29, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 28

April 28, 1904 – A fire started about 11:20 last night in the Harley block, in the heart of Brainerd, Minn., and for a time it was thought the entire business portion of the city was doomed.

The flames spread rapidly through the Hartley building and also to the Wise block on the corner and soon got beyond control of the fire department.

By 1:30 this morning the scene was one of awful devastation and the loss is estimated to reach nearly $250,000.

The fire began in the basement of Slipp Bros.’ hardware store, which is in the Hartley block, and as there was considerable oil and refuse there the flames spread rapidly.

Bemidji Daily Pioneer
; “Costly Fire at Brainerd; Minnesota Town Suffers to the Extent of About $250,000.”; April 28, 1904; p. 1.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 27

April 27, 1994 – Minnesota Twin Scott Erickson pitched a no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers on this date.

Minnesota Twin pitcher Scott Erickson