On Feb. 5, millions across the nation will tune into Super Bowl LI, including fans in the Twin Ports area who have one thing to remember: They could have been watching the home team. From 1923-27, Duluth was a member of the National Football League and for those five seasons, area fans had a taste of pro football. The Duluth squad played its home games near the ore docks at Athletic Park in West Duluth, now the site of Wade Stadium.
The First World War shocked the world with its brutality and casualties. But for a brief time at Christmas 1914, enemies became warm friends. Over a century ago this month, men of opposing armies in Flanders called a truce during the first Christmas of the war that has become the stuff of legend. While many of the stories of the cease-fire have been embellished with time, the truce stands in contrast to the horrific warfare that ravaged Europe.
The stunning outcome of this month's Presidential election is a rare example of a race decided in the Electoral College. Though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 650,000, Donald Trump won where it mattered most, by picking up over 270 electoral votes. It is the fifth time that the Electoral College influenced a Presidential race. Two of those cases were decided by Congress, while one — the notorious 2000 Gore-Bush battle — went to the Supreme Court.
The controversial Dred Scott case of 1857 is considered a hallmark in the question of slavery in the United States. Few realize that Scott once lived at Fort Snelling in St. Paul in present-day Minnesota. The Supreme Court decision on Scott determined that blacks could not be U.S. citizens and therefore had no right to sue in federal court. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, became a flashpoint in the slavery debate.
As a high school freshman in 1913, Fritz Crisler was a self-described "skinny kid" who "didn't weigh more than 100 pounds." It was an inauspicious beginning for a man whose impact on college football is practically unmatched.
Men and women in service have many needs, including recreation and education. For thousands of American troops in World War II, the Victory Book Campaign covered both. Though forgotten today, the campaign was a wildly successful national program to collect and distribute reading material to the armed forces. Millions of books, including many from Minnesota,were enjoyed by the troops, providing a welcome respite from the drudgery and stress of daily military life.
Few federal government programs today are viewed as efficient and popular, with long-lasting effects. The Civilian Conservation Corps, the enormously successful Depression-era program of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, was all that and more. The CCC put unemployed, impoverished young men to work in forestry, soil conservation, drainage, and public parkland. Known for its quality of work, the imprint of the CCC remains in parks, forests, and farmlands today, including in Minnesota.