This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: April 26

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1840

Father Lucien Galtier arrives in St. Peter's (Mendota) to organize a Catholic church. He soon builds a chapel down the river at the settlement that becomes known as St. Paul.

1877

Governor John S. Pillsbury appoints this day for prayer to relieve the state from the swarms of Rocky Mountain locusts that had plagued farmers for four years. The locusts linger until August, when they disappear.

1896

Edward J. Thye is born near Frederick, South Dakota. Thye would succeed Harold E. Stassen to become the twenty-sixth governor of the state and, notably, the first farmer to hold the office. During his term, he would reduce the state debt, increase old-age assistance, expand state institutions, establish a human rights commission, and approve a health-care plan for state employees. As a Republican senator from 1947 to 1958, he would be one of seven to sign Margaret Chase Smith's "declaration of conscience" against Joseph McCarthy. He died at his farm near Northfield on August 28, 1969.

1924

In a prohibition scandal, two agents are arrested for stealing $100,000 in confiscated liquor that had been stored in a Minneapolis warehouse. Eventually, four agents are suspended and warrants are issued for seven others.

1972

Vietnam War protestors stage a demonstration at Honeywell, Inc., which at the time manufactured fragmentation bombs.