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Yesterday's News

Sample Minnesota's rich history, courtesy of a microfilm archive

Blogs
January 24, 2017
July 2, 1947: A call for driving test

July 2, 1947: A call for driving test

Minnesota issued its first driver's license in 1934. A single 25-cent fee covered licenses for every member of a household. You didn't have to prove you were a good — or apparently even sighted — driver: No test was required. A Mr. Inky Campbell of Minneapolis called attention to the situation in this persuasive letter to the editor of the Star. Within two years, Minnesota began testing prospective drivers. But vision was not part of the renewal process until 1972.
Blogs
January 6, 2017

Aug. 28, 1909: Foundling left on counter at confectionery shop

The story of one infant left on the counter of a confectionery shop on Lyndale Avenue S. in 1909 resonated more than most "foundling" stories.
Blogs
December 27, 2016

Aug. 29, 1920: Insurance against spinsterhood

The young woman who hatched the insurance idea described in the Minneapolis Tribune story below appears to have been an intelligent person with a broad range of interests. So how did she come up with this cockamamie idea?
Blogs
December 22, 2016

May 10, 1916: 'The Sun, Uranus and Mars are all in evil aspect'

The guidance offered in early horoscopes published in the Minneapolis Tribune sounds very familiar: "Women should be exceedingly cautious in all love affairs, as they are likely to be easily deceived and greatly disappointed."
Blogs
November 29, 2016

March 7, 1888: Louisa May Alcott's obituary

Miss Louisa M. Alcott died this morning. Coming so soon after the death of her father, the suddenly announced death of Louisa M. Alcott brings a double sorrow. For a long time Miss Alcott has been ill, suffering from nervous prostration. Last autumn she appeared to be improving and went to the highlands to reside with Dr. Rhoda A. Lawrence. While there she drove into town to visit her father, Thursday, the 1st, and caught a cold, which on Saturday settled on the based of the brain and developed spinal meningitis. She died at the highlands early this morning. Miss Alcott was born on an anniversary of her father's birthday, and it is singular that she should have followed him so soon to the grave.
Blogs
September 8, 2016

Sept. 3, 1911: Canoeing with the Ojibwe

Have you read "Canoeing With the Cree," Eric Sevareid's engaging account of his 1930 canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay? Sevareid, 17, and a 19-year-old friend paddled more than 2,200 miles that summer. A few decades earlier, another 17-year-old boy from Minneapolis and two friends set out on a canoe adventure that was nearly as ambitious.
Blogs
August 30, 2016

July 19, 1914: Speed king defies death at fairgrounds

Renowned as "the world's greatest aviator" in the early 20th century, Lincoln Beachey was a barnstorming stunt pilot who invented many of the daring maneuvers performed at aerial shows today.
Blogs
August 25, 2016

Sept. 8, 1909: Step right up and see the State Fair preemies!

The Minnesota State Fair has featured many unusual attractions in its 150-year history: death-defying aerial acts, colliding locomotives, freak shows, live animal births, the Minnesota Iceman and premature babies in incubators. Wait … what? The Minneapolis Morning Tribune was there:
Blogs
August 8, 2016

July 11, 1921: Wooden legs save 2 from drowning

This Minneapolis Tribune story is a mess. But the headline is sublime.
Blogs
July 8, 2016

Aug. 5, 1967: Monkee admits Beatles are better

"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.
Blogs
June 20, 2016

July 8, 1876: Banjo Ben's last walk

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.
Blogs
June 20, 2016

March 6, 1914: Helen and Warren's cheerless trip

Mabel Herbert Urner's serialized accounts of a fictional New York couple began appearing in the Minneapolis Tribune in July 1910.
Blogs
June 20, 2016

Dec. 29, 1975: Drew Pearson's 'Hail Mary' catch

Did Drew Pearson push off Nate Wright before snaring the winning touchdown pass in the Vikings' heartbreaking loss to Dallas in a 1975 divisional playoff game at Met Stadium? A Minneapolis Tribune account published the next day is clear: We wuz robbed.
Local
June 19, 2016

July 10, 1876: Banjo Ben's last walk (RAW)

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.
Blogs
June 1, 2016

June 1, 1916: 'Shackelton' and Endurance crew are safe after harrowing journey

One hundred years ago today, a big fat typo landed on the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune.
Blogs
May 17, 2016
Jan. 24, 1951: No smell test for lutefisk

Jan. 24, 1951: No smell test for lutefisk

Minneapolis Star editors used a funny-looking spelling (ludefisk) for Scandinavia's funny-smelling food (lutefisk) in this page one story from January 1951.
Blogs
March 29, 2016

March 16, 1882: Oscar Wilde, 'ass-thete'

An enterprising Tribune reporter got the chance to write about Oscar Wilde during the Minneapolis stop on his U.S. lecture tour. The reporter found the Irish writer's accent difficult to decipher and his attire "too utterly utter" – though by no means unbecoming.
Blogs
March 18, 2016

March 18, 1910: Killer wore jewels in jail

With diamond earrings in her ears and rings on her fingers, Mrs. Lina Dale, who shot and killed William Lear several weeks ago in a fight at the Alberta hotel, 622 Hennepin avenue, is working in the laundry at the county jail while awaiting trial on a charge of murder.
Blogs
March 15, 2016

May 10, 1965: Minneapolis falls an hour behind St. Paul

For two weeks in 1965, you had a pretty good excuse for missing a bus or being late for work in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The two cities could not agree when to start daylight saving time. State law designated May 23 as day to turn clocks forward. St. Paul's City Council decided to make the move on May 9, in line with most of the rest of the nation. Minneapolis decided to go by state law and fell an hour behind St. Paul on the second Sunday in May. It was a mess, but people muddled through.
Blogs
March 8, 2016

Jan. 15, 1925: A gown of 'bewildering beauty' can be made in less than 2 minutes

Heidi Klum's got nichts on M. Alphonse Berg, a noted Parisian designer who visited the Twin Cities in 1925 to demonstrate how to make "a frock of bewildering beauty" from just about any material in under two minutes.
Blogs
March 7, 2016

Jan. 26, 1925: Helen Keller spreads cheer in Twin Cities

Helen Keller, in the Twin Cities for a series of speeches, sat for an interview with the Minneapolis Daily Star's Gail Armstrong at the St. Paul Hotel.
Blogs
March 7, 2016

Jan. 2, 1946: A cutie on the boss's lap

Trigger warning: Before you scroll down to view this cartoon panel, be advised that it represents a decidely sexist view of office life. "Girligraphs" — aka "Cuties" — ran in scores of American newspapers from the early 1940s until 1971. I was surprised to learn that the cartoonist, E. Simms Campbell, was known as the Jackie Robinson of commercial art and cartooning. His work appeared in nearly every issue of Esquire from 1933 to 1958, and in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, the New Yorker and Playboy.
Blogs
February 29, 2016
Sept. 3, 1911: Hipless woman is foreseen

Sept. 3, 1911: Hipless woman is foreseen

S-sh, listen! Women's feet are said to be growing larger by a size or two, their hips to be growing smaller by a few inches, their waist lines increasing in circumference by two or three inches and bust measurement shrinking at least as much. Dr. Nellie Hughes, a Western specialist registered at the Rogers hotel, says these changes are in progress.
Blogs
February 25, 2016

Sept. 23, 1906: The mysterious Mr. Sly

Newspaper circulation managers may be interested in reviving this century-old idea. In September 1906, the Tribune introduced readers to the "mysterious Mr. Sly," an anonymous Easterner hired to walk the streets of Minneapolis and elude readers competing for a $250 prize for his capture.
Blogs
February 25, 2016

Nov. 26, 1969: Pot it's not, but catnip sales soar in Twin Cities

In at least one Twin Cities pet shop, it took a note from his parents for a teen-ager to lay in any big supply of catnip.