This Day in Minnesota History

January 27, 2006

Curtis Warnke, publisher of the Wood Lake News from 1966 to 1994 and the youngest person elected to the Minnesota Legislature (in 1956), passes away at age seventy-four after a brief battle with cancer.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 18, 1902

Aurelia Wheeldin, one of the earliest female African American boxers, is born in Minnesota. She would study music at Macalester College, earn recognition as a world female champion bantamweight, and eventually move to New York City and perform in musicals at the Apollo Theater.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 9, 1940

Two members of Alcoholics Anonymous visit Minnesota to see a football game and to contact several people who had asked for help with their drinking problems. They connect with one, B. Patrick Cronin, who would date his sobriety to November 11, 1940, and eventually help start more than 450 AA groups in the Midwest.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 25, 1875

On Thanksgiving Day, the St. James Hotel in Red Wing opens. Conceived by eleven local businessmen who made their fortunes in the grain industry and contributed $60,000 to the cause, the establishment is an impressive expression of community pride and identity. Today it is Minnesota's oldest hotel and meeting facility.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 14, 1860

Telegraph service reaches Minneapolis.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 13, 1891

Floyd B. Olson is born in Minneapolis. He would be the first Farmer-Labor governor, serving from 1931 until his death on August 22, 1936. He is remembered for implementing New Deal policies and for his skilled negotiating during the 1933 Hormel strike in Austin and the 1934 teamsters' strike in Minneapolis.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 13, 1833

Charles M. Loring is born in Portland, Maine. As Minneapolis park commissioner from 1883 to 1890, he would be a principal player in the development of the city's system of parks, public grounds, and children's playgrounds. He would be the driving force behind creation of Victory Memorial Drive; Loring Community School is named for him. Central Park would be renamed Loring Park, also in his honor.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 12, 1977

Steve Carter's Eden is the first documented performance at the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul. Founded in 1976 by Lou Bellamy, the nationally acclaimed theater won a Jujamcyn Award in 1999 and is known for producing all of the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 12, 1892

Walter "Pudge" Heffelfinger becomes the first professional football player in history. The Minneapolis native signs to play with the Allegheny Athletic Association and is paid $500 for his role in the 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 12, 1889

DeWitt Wallace is born in St. Paul. Wallace would found Reader's Digest in 1922, and his family's fortune has benefited many educational and performing arts associations.

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