The young ladies below were members of the Minneapolis Park Board girls’ rifle team. Little is known about the squad beyond what can be deduced from this Minneapolis Journal photo from about 1920. The girls met for training and perhaps competitions at the Armory southwest of the Basilica of St. Mary, which is visible in the distance. Crisp uniforms, matching socks and nicely bobbed hair were required. Gun safety training? This trio must have skipped that day, judging from the careless way they pointed their rifles.
The Minneapolis Armory, built in a marshy area near Kenwood Parkway in 1907, was already showing cracks when this photo was taken. By 1929 the massive structure had settled so much in the soft ground that it had to be condemned. It was torn down in 1933. (Minneapolis Journal photo courtesy mnhs.org)
The Armory in 1907, the year it opened. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)
The 1909 Minneapolis auto show, the city's second, drew about 45,000 car enthusiasts to the Armory. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)
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The Minnesota State Fair has featured many unusual attractions in its 150-year history: death-defying aerial acts, colliding locomotives, freak shows, live animal births, the Minnesota Iceman and premature babies in incubators. Wait … what? The Minneapolis Morning Tribune was there:
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A musically inclined vagrant known as Banjo Ben walked the streets of Minneapolis in the city's early days. His weakness for alcohol and penchant for strong language landed him in court with some frequency. In February 1876, for example, he was sentenced to 20 days in jail for spewing obscenities at the St. Paul and Pacific depot. Later that year, he walked into the Tribune newsroom and issued an invitation to witness a spectacular feat at the new suspension bridge under construction nearby.
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