Saturday, June 7, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 7

June 7, 1987 – “St. Paul's August Wilson's play Fences won four Tony Awards including Best Play. Born in Pittsburgh, he came to Minnesota in 1978 and began to write award-wining plays that chronicled African American experiences during the 20th century.”

August Wilson

Friday, June 6, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 6

June 6, 1889 – “The University of Minnesota Law School graduated its first class, a total of three men. The following year there were 45.”

Thursday, June 5, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 5

June 5, 1911 – The Oliver Mining Company made a settlement with the heirs of the victims of the March 11, 1911, Norman Mine accident one this date. One of the men killed was the sole parent of seven children; their mother having died the year before, the children aged two to 12 years of age, are now orphans. The mining company not only paid $5,000, the minimum legal amount under the law for the death of their father, but the company also paid off remaining indebtedness against the family home and certain other obligations so that the orphans could have their home and the $5,000 with no claims against it. The mining company also arranged to pay $10 per month for the support and education of each child until they have reached the age of 18 years-old.  

Duluth News-Tribune; Duluth, Minn.; June 5, 1911

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 4

June 4, 1991- Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter school law. Governor Arne Carlson signed the legislation (Laws of Minnesota 1991, chapter 265, article 9, section 3.) on this date.

Governor Arne Carlson

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 3

June 3, 1998 – Legendary Indy car driver and St. Paul, Minn.-native Tommy Milton was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Detroit, Mich., on this date.

Best known as the first two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 (1921 and 1923), he was also notable for having only one functional eye, a disability that would have disqualified him from competing in modern motorsports.

Milton was born in St. Paul on November 14, 1893. He began his career in racing in 1914, competing on dirt tracks in the Midwestern United States. By 1917, he was competing nationwide, and earned his first major win at a track in Providence, RI. In 1919, he was one of the dominant figures in American racing, winning five of the nine championship races including the International Sweepstakes at Sheepshead Bay, NY, and making his debut at the Indianapolis 500.

Milton was a starter in the Indianapolis 500 eight times, earning the pole position once, and finishing in the top five on four occasions. He drove for Dusenberg his first time in 1919 and again the following year when he finished third. In 1921, the twenty-seven-year-old Milton won the celebrated race driving a straight-eight Frontenac built by Louis Chevrolet. In 1922 fuel tank problems forced Milton out of the race after only forty-four laps, but he came back in 1923 driving for the H.C.S. Motor Co. with a Miller 122 and won the race for the second time. His last was the 1927 Indianapolis 500 where he finished eighth.

At the 1936 race, Milton returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to drive the Packard 120 Pace Car. At his suggestion, the tradition of giving the race winner the Pace Car began that year. In 1949 Milton was appointed chief steward for the Indianapolis 500. Health problems forced him to retire in 1957.

Tommy Milton

Monday, June 2, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 2

June 2, 1920 - The payment of bonuses to Minnesota service men was halted today when the bonus board ran low on funds and found it could not sell certificates of indebtedness to provide further funds because of the low interest rate provided by the last legislature on the certificates. The tight condition of the money market is blamed. Another session of the legislature to raise interest rates may be proposed. In the meantime sixty thousand service men await bonuses.

Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Payment of Bonuses to Service Men is Halted. Bonus Board Runs Low on Funds and Is Forced to Stop Farther Payment. Certificates Cannot Be Sold Now.  Low Interest Rate Blocks Further Sale; Special Session Talked of”; June 2, 1920; p. 1.

WWI Soldiers

Sunday, June 1, 2014

On this date in Minnesota History: June 1

June 1, 1992 – Corrine Erstad, 5, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., “was last seen at approximately 7:30 p.m. [on this date] as she went to play in Skyline Park near her family’s residence. The child has not been seen since.”

Corrine Erstad