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In addition to the final score, three things leap out from the dusty microfilm on this Minneapolis Tribune story:
- The University of Minnesota fielded a women’s basketball team in 1905, less than 15 years after Dr. James Naismith invented the sport. And yet the 1971-72 squad, coached by Joan Stevenson, is generally recognized as the school’s first women’s basketball team.
- It was apparently unremarkable that the mighty Gophers put a local high school on their schedule.
- The Tribune, which typically devoted less than a page a day to the entire world of sports, covered this women’s game.
|Women’s basketball circa 1900: Sensible shoes, billowing bloomers and set shots. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
|Above: Couldn’t find a photo of the plucky girls from South High, but this shot of Fulda High’s 1904-05 girls team shows the typical garb of the era. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org). Below: The 1905 University of Minnesota women's basketball team.|
Reporter David Mazie’s series on “today’s teen-agers” appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune’s Women and Society section on three consecutive Sundays. A big promotional ad touting the project whetted my appetite:
“What’s ‘in’? What will they do tonight? Where will they go? What are their hopes and their ambitions for the future?”
The project, unfortunately, turned out to be less than riveting. Packed with statistics and quotes from experts, the stories show little passion or insight. Worst of all, the same newspaper that continued to the publish the home addresses of crime victims and children well into the 1960s failed to provide the full names of the handful of teens quoted in each installment. Granting anonymity was intended to encourage them to speak freely, which they most certainly did not. Without full names, I can’t track down the kids, now in their 60s, to see whether they achieved their hopes and ambitions for the future.
But this sidebar is a fab snapshot of the era. I encourage readers to post their tips on how to spot teens in 2015.
|Minneapolis teens of the mid-1960s got their ya-yas out at popular Lake Street clubs such as Mr. Lucky’s. Check out the high-water pants on the young man near the stage. This is fab? (Minneapolis Tribune photo by Dwight Miller)|
Stories that belong on page one don’t always land there. On a cold February evening more than 50 years ago, Minneapolis Tribune editors settled on a front-page lineup that included an outboard-motor theft ring, a nursing home strike, a failed missile test, a congressional hearing attended by two monkeys training for space flight, the resignation of the secretary of the Navy and a short about a bleacher collapse in Portsmouth, Va., in which 29 people were injured. The lead story: An American Airlines flight from Chicago to New York’s LaGuardia Airport crashed in the East River, killing 65 of 72 aboard.
The newsy mix was typical for the Tribune of that era, heavy on wire news, politics, crime and mayhem, leavened with a bright or two. What’s missing? Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash in northern Iowa early that morning of Feb. 3, 1959. Tribune editors decided that the deaths of three “rock ‘n’ roll idols” merited only this extended photo caption on page 11 the next day:
In a page one story, the Tribune’s Carl T. Rowan reported on a University of Minnesota study of “racial attitudes of middle-class whites in a northern metropolis.” Researchers found plenty of prejudice in the City of Lakes in the early 1950s. A Minneapolis public school teacher was one of 271 white parents interviewed for the study. “No, I don’t let my 10-year-old daughter play with Negroes,” she said, adding that she believed they would be happier living in a neighborhood by themselves.
The story was accompanied by this quiz:
|Carl T. Rowan was Minneapolis Tribune reporter from 1950 until 1961.|
I've been trying to find out who leaked this story to the Minneapolis Star more than 40 years ago, but all the leads have dried up.
|The IDS in 1972: Tut-tut, it looks like rain.|