Two hundred National Guard soldiers, armed with rifles, were called out to end an inmate hunger strike at the St. Cloud Reformatory in July 1966.

The 25-hour hunger strike by 186 prisoners erupted on July 18 in the recreation yard and ended the next day when the National Guard surrounded the protesters. The last of the 36 prisoners surrendered and returned to their cells about 10 minutes after the soldiers arrived.

The inmates' beef was over pork.

Protesting prisoners said their diet contained too much pork, according to the St. Cloud Daily Times in 1966. The prison had an adjoining farm, where hogs were raised. Prison officials reportedly wanted to add a beef herd but it wasn't "anywhere near becoming a reality."

The inmates also demanded better medical attention and additional visiting hours.

In March 1936, a prisoner hunger strike had prompted authorities there to lock 1,156 inmates in their cells.

The protesting prisoners demanded better food, more pay in the prison shops and quicker action by the state board of parole on parole requests.

That strike began when about 150 inmates dumped food from their plates and refused to eat. They were prevented from going to the dining rooms the next day and had no food for more than 30 hours.

"We'll keep the boys in their cells until their hunger gets the better of them," said then-superintendent H.W. Whittier.