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.
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.
Email your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
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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