With colorful parades and picnics and fireworks displays, Independence Day is an especially photogenic holiday. But many of the Fourth of July photos in the Star Tribune archives illustrate how not to spend the holiday. Don’t drive recklessly (or you’ll end up in the morgue). Don’t shoot off illegal fireworks (or you’ll end up in the hospital). Don’t tease dogs with illegal fireworks (wait … what?).
This year I’ll offer two images that feature smiling happy people. Perhaps you can identify some of them.
Thirty-plus feet of rain gutter? Check. A few rolls of aluminum foil to line it? Check. Scores of peeled bananas? Check. Gallons and gallons of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup — and a few cans of maraschino cherries to top it all off? Check, check, check! On July 4, 1969, Mrs. Donald Schrader of south Minneapolis had all the makings of the holiday weekend’s largest banana split. Her neighbors in the 4100 block of Ewing Avenue S. lined up for the colossal dessert. (Minneapolis Tribune photo by Powell Krueger)
The lovely Lorraine Olson — your great-grandmother, perhaps? — appeared on the front page of the Minneapolis Star on July 4, 1936, as part of a three-photo package titled "As Minneapolis Celebrates the Fourth of July." The caption listed no age or location.
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Email your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
In a convoy of six jeeps accompanied by a police escort, RCA Victor's Television Caravan rolled into Minneapolis in October 1947. Several hundred spectators packed the Donaldson's department store on Nicollet Avenue to see demonstrations of the new technology. The next year, KSTP became the first TV station in Minnesota to broadcast regularly, beaming 12 to 14 hours of programming a week to about 2,500 television sets in the metro area.
Just a year out of high school, 19-year-old Willie Mays took the field for the Minneapolis Millers on May 1, 1951, opening day at Nicollet Park. More than 6,000 fans watched the rookie notch three hits and make a "sparkling catch" against the flagpole. Another future Hall of Famer, Hoyt Wilhelm, was the winning pitcher.
A link between brain damage and anti-social behavior has been well-documented. It's unclear how well-documented the link was in 1920, when a court sent a robbery suspect to a St. Paul hospital for a bit of cranial surgery to cure his "criminal tendencies." Did it work? There's no mention of the suspect in subsequent issues of the Minneapolis Tribune, and no record of a Nobel prize for the surgeon.
Through protests and shareholder engagement, the Honeywell Project (1968-1990) sought to persuade Honeywell Inc. to start beating cluster bombs into plowshares. Molly Ivins, then a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, was on the scene when Jerry Rubin, one of the Chicago Seven, joined peace activist Marv Davidov and poet Robert Bly to lead the charge in Minnesota in April 1970.
Michael Welters, an old and highly respected resident of Chanhassen, was struck and instantly killed by a work train on the C M & St. P. road, west of the village of Chanhassen, about five o'clock Saturday afternoon, November 2, 1912. The old gentleman was on his way home from the village, and was walking along the tracks, and as he has been partly deaf for some time, it is supposed he did not hear the oncoming train in time to escape being hit.