The ocean liner St. Paul is launched at last. The International Navigation Company had intended to launch the ship on March 25, inviting seventy dignitaries to Philadelphia for the occasion. After the champagne bottle was broken, however, the ship refused to budge.
Mailcarrier John Beargrease dies. Born in 1858, the son of an Ojibwe leader and a white woman, Beargrease grew up in Beaver Bay and delivered mail along the north shore of Lake Superior from 1887 to 1904, his route being Two Harbors to Grand Marais. During open water the trip took him three days by rowboat, and in the winter he used a dogsled.
A forest fire begins on the railroad line between Duluth and Hibbing and burns for the next three days, reaching Duluth on the thirteenth. Thirty-eight communities, including the cities of Cloquet, Carlton, and Moose Lake, and the towns of Adolph, Brookston, Munger, Grand Lake, Pike Lake, and Twig, are burned and 435 people are killed. After the blaze, forest salvagers cut 1.6 million tons of lumber. In response to a series of lawsuits, the Minnesota Supreme Court rules that the railroads, and by extension the U.S.
Golf great Bobby Jones plays a round at the Interlachen Country Club in Edina on the first day of the U.S. Open Championship. At the end of the two-day tournament, he wins the title for the fourth time.
Workers at the Hormel meat packing plant in Austin stage the first sit-down strike in American labor history, occupying the factory to prevent non-strikers from operating the equipment. The strike is settled on December 8 after hearings by the Industrial Commission of Minnesota.
Baseball slugger Roger Maris is born in Hibbing. In 1961 he would hit sixty-one home runs for the Yankees, breaking Babe Ruth's single season record, which had stood for thirty-four years. Maris's record would be broken thirty-seven years later by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., is the featured speaker at a large America First rally in Minneapolis. The America First Committee promoted U.S. isolationism during the years leading up to World War II. Lindbergh's anti-war activity reduced his stature in many people's eyes, but after war was declared he would dedicate himself to the battle for victory, flying fifty missions in the Pacific.
About 250 demonstrators in Minneapolis protest the Vietnam War with a march from the University of Minnesota campus to the Federal Building on Washington Avenue, where they throw a few snowballs and then disperse to distribute leaflets and "get into raps with people about the war."
A fierce, three-day blizzard strikes, bringing one to two feet of snow (with some drifts reaching twenty feet) and winds up to eighty miles per hour, closing most Minnesota roads, stranding a train at Willmar, and killing thirty-five people and 15,000 head of livestock. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that an offshoot of an Arctic storm has blasted into the Midwest, commenting that the "Wind ain't whistlin' Dixie."
Governor Wendell R. Anderson announces that he will fill newly elected Vice President Walter F. Mondale's U.S. Senate seat. He resigns as governor and is replaced by Lieutenant Governor Rudy Perpich, who then appoints Anderson to complete Mondale's term. The move ends Anderson's political career and makes Perpich's: Anderson would not earn reelection to the Senate in 1978, but Perpich would serve out Anderson's term and be elected governor in 1982.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opens. Designed by modernist architect Edward Larrabee Barnes in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Rothschild, it is the home of the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry by Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg.
Ralph Ware, Jr., who played an instrumental role in creating the Heart of the Earth School, dies in Oklahoma. Founded in 1972, the Heart of the Earth School at the Center for American Indian Education in Minneapolis was the nation's first alternative school for Native Americans. It still emphasizes individual learning styles and parent and community involvement in education. Ware, a Kiowa, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma.
St. Augusta Township in rural Stearns County becomes the city of Ventura as five new city officials take the oath of office to serve this community, which was named for Governor Jesse Ventura as part of a political strategy to prevent annexation attempts by St. Cloud, the county seat. The former township clerk comments, "We are about to form the newest city in the state of Minnesota." In November voters would overwhelmingly choose to change the city's name from Ventura to St. Augusta.