Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
I've pored over thousands of feet of Minneapolis Tribune microfilm since 2005. I believe this might be the earliest example of distracted driving -- and of the dangers of smoking.
Long before sea turtles were becoming entangled in six-pack rings, Twin Cities cats were getting their heads lodged in empty tin cans. From the Minneapolis Tribune:
|What cat could resist this 1915-era can, with its nautical theme and the inevitable association with seafood? Image courtesy of mnhs.org|
|Another St. Paul woman of the period, Laura Furness, had a weakness for cats. The Minnesota Historical Society's online collection has more than 100 photos of Furness, granddaughter of Minnesota's second governor, Alexander Ramsey. Several of the photos, including this one taken at the Ramsey House in 1905, show her embracing a cat. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)|
Bicycling was booming in the 1890s, fueled by improved bike design and demand for cheap transportation. In the wrong hands, however, the new “safety bike” was anything but. Careless young “scorchers” pedaled furiously up and down urban streets, startling horses and pedestrians alike. Newspapers of the era regularly reported collisions that resulted in serious injuries and, on occasion, death. Across the country, bicycle speed limits were established to protect the population. In Minneapolis, the speed limit was 10 mph. And, as you’ll see in the Tribune story below, police were serious about enforcing the law.
|NIce rides: A man and a woman showed off their wheels in front of the Wallof house, 2200 Sheridan Ave. S., Minneapolis, in 1898. (Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Library's Minneapolis Collection)|
"We're more popular than Jesus now," John Lennon told an British journalist in 1966. A year later, the Monkees' Mike Nesmith, in town for a show at the St. Paul Auditorium, humbly explained his band's place in the cosmic pecking order.
|Mike Nesmith of the Monkees spoke with a Tribune reporter at an undisclosed hotel in downtown St. Paul. (Minneapolis Tribune photo by Kent Kobersteen)|
|More than 10,000 "teeny-boppers" screamed for more than an hour when the Monkees performed at the St. Paul Auditorium in August 1967. "The group apparently played quite a few songs," the Tribune's Brian Anderson wrote in his review, "but because of the never-ending shriek, every song sounded the same." (Minneapolis Tribune photo by Pete Hohn)|
Catharine D. Lealtad was the only black student in her senior class at St. Paul’s Mechanic Arts High School. Her “splendid record” prompted Principal George Weitbrecht to select her as valedictorian. He told the Appeal, an “Afro-American” newspaper in St. Paul: “It was simply a question of brains, not color.”
It was the first of a lifetime of academic and professional honors. She later enrolled at Macalester College and in just three years earned a degree in chemistry and history, again finishing at the top of her class. For a short time, she taught school in Missouri and Ohio. She moved to New York and worked for the YWCA and the Urban League, then enrolled in medical school at Cornell. There she encountered racial prejudice and was forced to drop out. At the urging of a mentor, she enrolled in medical school in France to study pediatrics. She returned to the United States, interned at a Chicago hsopital and worked at infant clinics in Harlem. In 1945, she was commissioned as a U.S. Army major and served in Germany, where she oversaw medical services for displaced children, and China, where she helped in the fight against a cholera epidemic.
Catharine Deaver Lealtad in about 1912.
After the war, Dr. Lealtad returned to New York and over the next two decades served children from impoverished families. After her “retirement” in 1968, she worked for many years at a mission hospital in Puerto Rico and a free clinic in Mexico. She is the only person to receive two honorary degrees from Macalester College, one for her career and one for her post-retirement service. She died in 1989.
From the Minneapolis Tribune:
Daughter of Colored Minister to Lead in St. Paul School Exercises.
A negro girl, daughter of Rev. Alfred H. Lealtad, rector of St. Phillip’s Episcopal church, will be the valedictorian at the graduating exercises of the Mechanics’ Art senior class of St. Paul, which takes place next June. Her name is Catherine Deaver Lealtad. She is 17 years old.
The only negro in her class Miss Lealtad, according to the principal of the Mechanics Art, has made a splendid record as a student and has stood at the head of her class since she entered.
As far as any trouble among the members of the senior class over the selection of Miss Lealtad as the valedictorian, the teachers and students are silent. They intimate that no protest will be made. Marcus L. Countryman, son of M.L. Countryman, general counsel for the Great Northern railroad, stands second in the class and under ordinary circumstances will represent his class as salutatorian.
|Principal George Weitbrecht in front of St. Paul's Mechanic Arts High School in 1909. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)|