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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Daniel Hoyt telephoned City Clerk Knott yesterday that he had shot a coyote "at 30 rods" from his house, 395 Twenty-third avenue southeast, and that he would appear soon at the city hall to claim a bounty of $7.50.
Before Fixit, there was Mr. Fixit, a quirky amalgam of Dear Abby, Google and T.D. Mischke. He deftly answered questions about food stains, home repair and city ordinances. But he also offered advice to the lovelorn and offbeat philosophical musings. And if you had a question of an extremely personal nature, he'd send you a response by mail, provided you sent him a stamped, self-addressed envelope. An interactive feature of the first order!
Thanks to Prohibition, criminal gangs plagued the Twin Cities in the 1920s and '30s. A corrupt St. Paul Police Department provided safe haven to gangsters and crooks of the era, as long as they agreed to stay out of trouble while in the city. The task of keeping the bad boys in line fell to "Dapper Dan" Hogan, a speakeasy owner and underworld leader. On December 4, 1928, Hogan, "whose word was known to be law among many criminals," was killed by a car bomb in the garage behind his St. Paul home. Rival gangsters were the likely culprits, but his murder was never officially solved.
"Women of the flats stood guard over their thresholds while police attempted to eject them for failure to pay rent on the grounds on which the dwellings stand. A near-riot was halted when a second court order was served on police, ordering a stay of the ejections."