Long before sea turtles were becoming entangled in six-pack rings, Twin Cities cats were getting their heads lodged in empty tin cans. From the Minneapolis Tribune:
|What cat could resist this 1915-era can, with its nautical theme and the inevitable association with seafood? Image courtesy of mnhs.org|
Ordinance Demanded to
Keep Cats from Poking
Heads into Tin Cans
When the Minneapolis Humane society meet at 11 a.m. today, it may consider the request of Mrs. William Talmadge of St. Paul, who has asked W.W. Bradley, secretary, to lay before the members the need she sees for an ordinance providing that all tin cans, on being emptied, be flattened, in order to make it impossible for wandering and curious-minded cats to insert their heads.
Mrs. Talmadge’s compassion was aroused by the plight of her own pet cat, which got its head in a can and lost one of its nine lives.
It is possible that some inventor will come forward with a non-refillable tin can, and thus obviate the canning [of] the cats.
|Another St. Paul woman of the period, Laura Furness, had a weakness for cats. The Minnesota Historical Society's online collection has more than 100 photos of Furness, granddaughter of Minnesota's second governor, Alexander Ramsey. Several of the photos, including this one taken at the Ramsey House in 1905, show her embracing a cat. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)|
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This Minneapolis Tribune story is a mess. But the headline is sublime.
"We're more popular than Jesus now," John Lennon told an British journalist in 1966. A year later, the Monkees' Mike Nesmith, in the Twin Cities for a show at the St. Paul Auditorium, humbly explained his band's place in the cosmic pecking order.
Read it in the voice of Garrison Keillor for the full effect.
A musically inclined vagrant known as Banjo Ben walked the streets of Minneapolis in the city's early days. His weakness for alcohol and penchant for strong language landed him in court with some frequency. In February 1876, for example, he was sentenced to 20 days in jail for spewing obscenities at the St. Paul and Pacific depot. Later that year, he walked into the Tribune newsroom and issued an invitation to witness a spectacular feat at the new suspension bridge under construction nearby.
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