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. Rudolph 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
The average issue of the TRIBUNE is eight pages, containing 56 columns. Every night for such an issue there are picked up from the type cases 458,528 letters!
More than a century ago, the managing editor at a "great morning paper like the Tribune" had a great many responsibilities. He spent a few hours each day just opening mail, dictating letters, fending off job applicants and pacifying "cranks," all without the aid of an iPad. The Tribune explains:
In a column given prominent play on the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune, Joe Soucheray captured the senseless hooliganism that took hold after the final Vikings' final game at Met Stadium on Dec. 20, 1981.
Let's hope Minneapolis Tribune photographer Earl Seubert had plenty of candy on hand when these cheerful "trick-and-treaters" leaned through his storm door to face his camera.
Hartman's first bylined column, "The Roundup," appeared in the Minneapolis Daily Times, tucked away with the agate type on the bottom of the Daily Times' second sports page. The lead story on the front page that day: "Tojo Shoots Self as U.S. Officers Attempt His Arrest."