Sample Minnesota's rich history, courtesy of a microfilm archive of newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted once or twice a week. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Or visit the Yesterday's News archives, a searchable library of more than 300 articles.
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Stories about abandoned babies were once common in Minneapolis newspapers. The word “foundling” appeared in the Tribune more than 300 times between 1880 and 1910. The story of one infant left on the counter of a confectionery shop on Lyndale Avenue S. in 1909 resonated more than most. It had the usual element of mystery: Who was the mother? Why did she abandon the good-natured little girl? But there was so much more: The 19-day-old infant was left with a childless woman who had been longing for a baby. Her neighbors showered her with love and support. And the newspaper was so involved in the coverage – six stories in six days -- that the new parents decided to name the baby Tribuna.
|Mrs. C.C. Sanford and the little foundling in a photo taken from Tribune microfilm.|
More to come: I’ll post excerpts of the subsequent stories over the next few days, and answer the question that occurs to anyone drawn in by this story: How did things turn out for Tribuna and her new family? Sad to say, not well.
Many thanks to the Rock County Star Herald for granting permission to post this D-Day column by Al McIntosh, the Luverne, Minn., newspaper editor whose work is featured in Ken Burns’ WWII documentary, “The War”. The column was published on June 8, 1944, two days after the Normandy invasion. [Originally posted here on Sept. 7, 2007; reposting to fix outdated links and coding.]
When we sleepily stumbled down the hall to answer the clamorously ringing telephone we made a mental note that it was shortly before 3 a.m. We picked up the receiver, thinking it was Sheriff Roberts calling to say that there had been an accident. Instead it was Mrs. Lloyd Long, playing the feminine counterpart role of Paul Revere, saying “Get up, Al, and listen to the radio, the invasion has started.”
Altho we had written in this column several weeks ago that the news would break between midnight and 5 a.m. we still couldn’t believe that the long awaited “D” Day had arrived. We sat by the radio for over an hour listening to the breathtaking announcements of eyewitness observers of the assault.
And then we went back to bed — to lie there for a long time, wide eyed in the darkness — thinking, “What Rock County boys are landing on French soil tonight?”
Please Lord, may this not be another Dieppe.
And so the invasion news came to Luverne, quietly. There were no whistles, no sirens. People got up and automatically turned on their radios to get the biggest news in all the world’s military history. There were no demonstrations — not much was said. The coffee shops were filled almost to standing room as the 10 o’clock news approached, Argus Leader “extras” were grabbed up like hotcakes and eagerly scanned. There were sober faces on the men as they listened to the news but there was a smile of exultation when they heard that the Allied forces had penetrated ten miles inland. One mother dropped in the coffee shop. She shook her head and pushed the cup of coffee, which had been placed in front of her, aside.
“I just want to listen to the radio,” she said. Her boy, by all the odds, was “there.” One didn’t have to be psychic to know what was in her mind – or her heart. The prayer that she was uttering right then as she listened to the announcer was multiplied a thousand times and more in Rock County countless times during the day.
This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news. This struggle is far from over — it has only started — and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.
There’s a War Bond Drive starting next Tuesday. Rock County has a big job cut out for it. But Ned Brown, county chairman, is gambling on the patriotism of you Rock Countians. Ned is starting the campaign where the last one left off — without a single meeting of any of the workers.
“I don’t feel like calling a county meeting of the workers,” he said, “that’s asking an awful lot right now when most everybody is busy with their farm work, asking them to take off four hours to come to a meeting.”
Here is the way Ned looks at it — the workers have been thru four previous campaigns — they know their job and what has to be done. There is nothing new he can tell them that they don’t already know. Why should he impose further on these volunteer bond salesmen by taking their time for an organization meeting when they will have to give so much time during the drive?
With a man having so much faith in the people of Rock County we can’t afford to let them down. Just remember this — some of those boys who are battling ahead in France will never “get back” but you’ll get every dollar you invest
“back” and with interest too. It’s “better to buy bonds than to wear them.”
And another thing — the Red Cross has received a terrific quota for surgical dressings. These are needed — and will be needed. Let not any woman in Rock County think that she isn’t needed in this effort. Your help may save a
boy’s life. Need we say more.
|Luverne’s Main Street, 1947: “The War” premiered at the restored Palace Theater in September 2007. (mnhs.org photo)|
St. Martin’s by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Minnetonka marked its 125th anniversary this weekend by re-enacting the first wedding held there. The marriage of Lucy May Camp and Henry Von Wedelstaedt on Sept. 4, 1888, was a gala affair. Among the 150 in attendance were some of the Twin Cities’ most influential men, including the bride’s father, lumberman George Camp, who commissioned the chapel; George Brackett, former Minneapolis mayor; Loren Fletcher, who served six terms in Congress; A.J. Blethen, owner of the Minneapolis Tribune; and U.S. District Judge William Lochren. The chapel, designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert, was “decorated entirely with wildflowers,” including an abundance of goldenrod. The Minneapolis Tribune captured all the excitement -- include a nearly catastrophic train accident -- in the next day's paper.
|The Camp chapel, which is now the home of St. Martin's-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church on Lake Minnetonka's Lafayette Bay, got a new bronze bell in 2004. Above, crane operators lifted the steeple back into place. (Star Tribune photo by Richard Sennott)|
|The West Hotel, Minneapolis, in the 1880s. (Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Library's Minneapolis Collection.)
I see a little of “The Little Rascals” in this Minneapolis Tribune report.
If you’re among the growing number of Minnesotans considering a wedding this summer, you may benefit from a bit of marital advice offered in the Minneapolis Tribune. A longer version appeared in the March 1876 issue of Ballou’s Monthly Magazine.
|Mr. and Mrs. James Hoffman took the plunge in St. Paul in the late 1870s. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org.)|