St. Paul in the late 1920s and early 1930s was known as a “‘crooks’ haven”—a place for gangsters, bank robbers, and bootleggers from all over the Midwest to run their operations or to hide from the FBI. The concentration of local organized crime activity prompted reformers and crime reporters to call for a “cleanup” of the city in the mid-1930s.
For much of the twentieth century, a section of Southeast Minneapolis was called the University District. By the 1980s, parts of the same area were known as Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown. The emergence and disappearance of the District as a place name occurred as the neighborhood’s relationships with the rest of the city and the nearby university changed.