If I understand this Minneapolis Tribune piece correctly, if you were as big as a kitten, a mosquito bite would kill you. Which can't have been good news for underweight infants of the 1870s. But it does hint at why the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District began dousing the Twin Cities with fuel oil and DDT nearly a century later.
HOW MOSQUITOES BITE.
The mosquito has a proboscis like an elephant, only not so large. It will, however, look nearly as large under a good microscope. He cannot do so many handy things with it as the elephant can, with his, but he can cause a good deal of annoyance with it in a small way.
It is hardly the thing to say that the mosquito bites us, for he has not teeth. The microscope reveals the fact that he carries a pair of scissors inside of his proboscis; the neatest and sharpest little cutting tools you ever saw. He gets his living by these. They are two delicate little blades, and are placed alongside each other. When he is ready to make a meal off of us, he first buzzes around with those beautiful wings and sings a pleasant little song. If we let him quietly settle down, he picks out a place on our skin which is just to his liking. He is very delicate about it. When he gets ready, he puts his proboscis down, and pushes the little scissors out, and makes a neat cut, so that he can suck the blood out.
Then he drinks as much blood as he wants, and he is done with his dinner, but he does not leave yet. He is going to pay his bill. He has taken our blood, and he will leave us something in exchange for it. With all his faults, he is an honest little fellow – after his fashion. He has the pay in his pocket, ready to squeeze out before he goes. It is poison, but that makes no difference to him. It is the best he has to give us. His poison pocket is at the head of his proboscis, and at the lower end of his proboscis he has another little pocket, into which he puts poison enough for one dose.
This poison is very powerful. A very little makes the place where the mosquito puts it very sore. After he has sucked our blood he puts the drop of poison into the place he took the blood from. It is not the bite or cut that the mosquito makes that hurts us, but the dropping of this powerful poison into our flesh. If this mosquito were large enough to give a powerful dose of this poison, it would be bad for us. If we were as big as a kitten, and his poison as strong in proportion, a “bite” from him would kill us.
The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has been taking it to our unofficial state bird since 1958. It’s not clear what Kenneth Shoberg, above, was spraying on a swampy patch of land near Hwy. 7 and W. Lake Street in St. Louis Park in April 1965. But until 1968, the agency applied hundreds of thousands of pounds of DDT each year to breeding sites around the metro area. The United States banned the pesticide four years later. The agency now relies on such insecticides as permethrin and on bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a naturally occurring bacterium that destroys the mosquitoes’ digestive tracts. Take that, you little buggers. (Minneapolis Tribune photo by Russell Bull)
After serving in the military during World War II, "two fighting Irishmen" from St. Paul, Ed and Bert Cochran, engaged in a war on mosquitoes in the Twin Cities. In 1949, homeowners paid $40 for a DDT treatment every six or seven days from May 1 to Oct. 1. Here Ed Cochran gave the Cedar Shores community a thorough taste of the insecticide. (Minneapolis Star photo)
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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.
Michael Welters, an old and highly respected resident of Chanhassen, was struck and instantly killed by a work train on the C M & St. P. road, west of the village of Chanhassen, about five o'clock Saturday afternoon, November 2, 1912. The old gentleman was on his way home from the village, and was walking along the tracks, and as he has been partly deaf for some time, it is supposed he did not hear the oncoming train in time to escape being hit.
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.
The syndicated Mary Haworth advice column added color and spark to the dull society pages of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune during the war years. Haworth (pronounced hay-worth) was the "slender, well-tailored, attractive" Elizabeth Young of the Washington Post. Hundreds of letters a week poured into her burlap-screened nook in the Post newsroom.