This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: July 18

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1840

A second post office is established in the region that would become Minnesota: "Lake St. Croix, Wisconsin Territory," which today is Point Douglas.

1847

Harriet E. Bishop arrives in St. Paul to open her public school. She wastes no time, starting school the next day. Although Bishop is usually remembered as Minnesota's first public school teacher, Matilda Runsey had taught for several months before Bishop's arrival, and there had been a number of missionary teachers. In addition to teaching for many years, Bishop wrote two books, Floral Home and Dakota War Whoop. Harriet Island (formerly Devil's Island) is named in her honor. She died on August 9, 1883.

1908

St. Paul's Lexington Park is the site of an international balloon race, sponsored by the Northwest Aero Club. Weather conditions are good, but the showing is poor: the winner is aloft for sixteen hours and forty minutes and travels only seventy-five miles.

1913

Karl F. Rolvaag is born in Northfield. He would serve as governor from 1963 to 1967. He died December 20, 1990.

1918

Sergeant Louis Cukela, a Croatian-born Minneapolitan serving in France, performs a feat of heroism that earns him two Congressional Medals of Honor, one from the navy and one from the army. Cukela, a member of the Fifth Marine Regiment, was pinned down with his company by machine-gun fire. Cukela worked his way around the side of the emplacement and used his bayonet to kill or capture members of the crew. He then threw a grenade into another machine gun nest, capturing it as well. A number of Minnesotans have won the nation's highest honor for bravery, but only Cukela has won two.

1962

Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison each hit a grand slam in the same inning of a baseball game, leading the Twins to a win over Cleveland.