Writers of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution took a little more than one hundred words to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. It fell to Minnesota Congressman Andrew Volstead to write the regulations and rules for enforcement. The twelve-thousand-word Volstead Act remained in effect for thirteen years, from 1920 until Prohibition was repealed in December 1933.
When Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila, their daughter Marcia, and five others died in a plane crash on the Iron Range on October 25, 2002, then-Senator Wellstone was in a difficult race for re-election to a third term in the US Senate. MN90 producer Marisa Helms takes a look at Wellstone before he was a famous politician and what has become of his legacy. Includes an interview with Bill Hillsman.
Paul Wellstone once described himself by saying, “I’m short, I’m Jewish, and I’m a liberal.” He was also a Southerner, a college professor, and a rural community organizer who became a two-term U.S. senator from Minnesota. He inspired a passionate following, in Minnesota and among liberals nationwide. Wellstone died in a plane crash while running for a third term.
The Minneapolis mayor's veto of the ordinance amendment in January, 1983, did little to quell debate on this subject. Protests in the Lake Street pornography district intensified during 1984 as the city's Task Force on Pornography deliberated. Feminists organized regular actions against the Rialto Theater, which was located at Chicago Avenue and Lake Street. They staged a "porn dump" on the steps of City Hall and establish the Pornography Resource Center on Lake Street. A photographer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Liz Hafalia, documented one of these protests. Forty women picketed the street and tried to intimidate would-be customers from entering bookstores and movie theaters. This image was published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 10, 1984. Source: Minneapolis and St Paul newspaper negatives collection, Minnesota Historical Society.
Women maintained a candlelight vigil outside of Mayor Donald Fraser's office while they waited for his decision on the ordinance amendment passed by the Minneapolis City Council on December 30, 1983. Known for his strong feminist convictions, the mayor vetoed the measure on January 5, 1984. He explained that the measure provided a "broad" and "vague" definition of pornography that made it impossible for a "bookseller, movie theater operator or museum director to adjust his or her conduct in order to keep from running afoul of its proscriptions." He asserted that it would never withstand judicial review. This photograph was taken at Minneapolis City Hall by Stormi Greener for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and was published on December 30, 1983. Source: Minneapolis and St Paul newspaper negatives collection, Minnesota Historical Society.
Activists from the Powderhorn and Central neighborhoods of Minneapolis continued their fight against the Alexander brothers into the early 1980s, despite a series of unfavorable legal decisions. This image shows Richard Buske, Linda Wejcman, Douglas Hicks, Nancy Benson, and Vernon Wetternach on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Lake Street on January 29, 1981. Photograph taken by Art Hager of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Source: Minneapolis and St Paul newspaper negatives collection, Minnesota Historical Society.