This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: September 27

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1862

The legislature allows Minnesota's Civil War soldiers to vote by passing the state's first absentee ballot law.

1888

John Ireland is named Archbishop of Minnesota. Born on September 11, 1838, in Burnchurch, Kilkenny County, Ireland, he had arrived in St. Paul in 1852. After his ordination in 1861, he served as chaplain of the Fifth Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War, organized an abstinence society, and helped bring many immigrant groups to the state. He would also establish a black Catholic church and build the Cathedral of St. Paul, one of the city's most visible landmarks. A prominent Republican, he argued against the prevailing wisdom that Catholicism was compatible with democracy.

1894

Theodore Hamm holds an open house at his St. Paul brewery, which he had owned since 1865 and which would be incorporated in 1896. Hamm's beer has long been a popular Minnesota product, advertised with its catchy slogan "from the land of sky-blue waters," and recognizable image the Hamm's bear.

1996

A statue of F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of the novel The Great Gatsby , is unveiled in Rice Park, St. Paul. Sculpted by Michael Price, a Merriam Park resident and teacher at Hamline University, the statue is dedicated during a centennial celebration of Fitzgerald's birthday (September 24, 1896) and unveiled by his granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan. This event is part of the Literature Festival, organized by Garrison Keillor, which brings together aspiring writers and professional authors to talk about their craft.