In far harder times — the Great Depression — a blood-covered plate teeming with germs was apparently an acceptable valentine. The Minneapolis Star put this bizarre, um, brite on page one:
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| ||A positive staph infection graces this agar plate of more recent vintage. |
BUGS ABOUT HER
Deadly Germs Form Valentine
He’s “bugs” about her – that’s what Dr. Rudoph Kouchy, fanciful University of Minnesota bacteriologist, apparently meant in a valentine to one of his students, Geraldine Lundquist.
The whimsical doctor constructed his missive of love from pure culture germs on a blood-covered agar plate, and placed it in the incubator.
In the morning when his student removed it, it had turned into a large, white heart with a lacy border and on it was inscribed – in germs – “Gerry,” and “Be My Valentine.” The doctor had inscribed his design with an inoculating wire.
The doctor was sure of his recipient, because only a trained technician could handle such a missive, because the concentrated fluid of deadly germs might be fatal if touched by hand.
[Originally posted in February 2009]
More From Yesterday's News
Another in our series of Minneapolis Tribune stories that include the word "newspaporial."
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.