Minnesota issued its first driver’s license in 1934. A single 25-cent fee covered licenses for every member of a household. You didn’t have to prove you were a good — or apparently even sighted — driver: No test was required. A Mr. Inky Campbell of Minneapolis called attention to the situation in this persuasive letter to the editor of the Star. Within two years, Minnesota began testing prospective drivers. But vision was not part of the renewal process until 1972.
Poor Driver Slow, Poor Driver Fast
To the Editor: The other day I saw a man attempting to park his car. He was making a considerable hash of the effort, and it took him a full five minutes.
Any person incapable of parking a car properly may well be incompetent to drive a car under any conditions. The man who cannot judge distance at a snail’s pace becomes a serious menace at higher speeds.
But in Minnesota how are we ever to know who these bumbling drivers are?
We need a driving test in Minnesota. The legislature has refused time after time to do anything about it. We should begin right now to hammer away on this driving-test business. We can’t afford to pass up the next opportunity for putting some sort of check on unfit, unqualified motorists.
Inky Campbell, Jr., Minneapolis
This 1946 photo of S. Fifth Street, looking south toward Nicollet Avenue, illustrates the challenges faced by Minneapolis drivers 70 years ago. Imagine trying to navigate a hulking Chevrolet through this bustling maze of automobiles, streetcars and pedestrians. (Minneapolis Star photo)
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."