Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
E-mail your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
Barack Obama isn't the first U.S. president to visit Minnehaha Falls. The falls were barely a trickle the week before President Lyndon Johnson visited the Twin Cities in June 1964. His itinerary included a brief stop at the falls, prompting the Minneapolis Park Board to arrange for water to be pumped into the creek and embellish the scene. Here's the resulting Kodak moment, shot by the Tribune's Duane Braley:
|LBJ looked unimpressed with the view. If only the Park Board had thought to hire a daredevil kayaker.|
You won’t find the word “marijuana” in the Minneapolis Tribune in the paper’s first 55 years. An alternate spelling, “mariguana,” appeared just once: in this somewhat confusing story about the war on the “deadly” weed at California’s San Quentin prison.
You might be surprised how many times the word “opium” appeared in the Tribune in that span: 6,399.
I've pored over thousands of feet of Minneapolis Tribune microfilm since 2005. I believe this might be the earliest example of distracted driving -- and of the dangers of smoking.
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|
|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)|
Bicycling was booming in the 1890s, fueled by improved bike design and demand for cheap transportation. In the wrong hands, however, the new “safety bike” was anything but. Careless young “scorchers” pedaled furiously up and down urban streets, startling horses and pedestrians alike. Newspapers of the era regularly reported collisions that resulted in serious injuries and, on occasion, death. Across the country, bicycle speed limits were established to protect the population. In Minneapolis, the speed limit was 10 mph. And, as you’ll see in the Tribune story below, police were serious about enforcing the law.
|NIce rides: A man and a woman showed off their wheels in front of the Wallof house, 2200 Sheridan Ave. S., Minneapolis, in 1898. (Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Library's Minneapolis Collection)|