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How Women Have Shaped the State

Weaving the Web of Minnesota Society

Expert Essay: Rhoda R. Gilman, a founding member of Women Historians of the Midwest and a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, considers the influence of women in Minnesota: the Willmar 8, the Schubert Club, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, and much more.

Black and white photograph of the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens, c.1950.

Betty Crocker Test Kitchens

Betty Crocker Test Kitchens, c.1950.

Color portraits of Betty Crocker, 1936–1981.

Betty Crocker through the years

Portraits of Betty Crocker, 1936–1981. Photograph by the Cartwheel Company.

MN90: WCCO - How Betty Crocker Became a Good Neighbor

WCCO Radio has been around for decades, but the station has changed a lot since its start. MN90 Producer Andi McDaniel explains.

MN90: The Invention of Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker has it all. She’s wholesome, pretty, and bakes a “perfect cake every time.” Pretty impressive for a woman who doesn’t actually exist. MN90 Producer Andi McDaniel finds out how Gold Medal Flour created a persona that still charms homemakers today.

Betty Crocker

For many Americans, the name Betty Crocker evokes an image of domestic perfection. From the often-reissued Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook to the iconic red spoon logo that bears her signature, Betty Crocker is one of the most recognized names in cooking. It comes as a surprise to many that “America’s First Lady of Food” is, in fact, fictional.

Black and white photograph of Julia Ann Sears, c.1872.

Julia Sears

Julia Ann Sears, c.1872.

Mankato State Normal School controversy, 1873

In August 1872, Julia Sears (1839–1929) was hired to head the Mankato State Normal School. Upon taking the job, she became the first woman to hold such a position of power in a coeducational institution of higher learning in the United States. Her leadership challenged traditional gender roles at teachers’ colleges but led to controversy when the local school board replaced her with a man.

Black and white photograph of St. Catherine’s alumna Betty Hubbard (right) pinning a corsage on Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella, left) at the College of St. Catherine in 1971. Photographed by P.J. Strasser.

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) and Betty Hubbard.

St. Catherine’s alumna Betty Hubbard (right) pins a corsage on Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella, left) at the College of St. Catherine in 1971. Photographed by P.J. Strasser.

Black and white photograph of Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) in her office at the College of St. Catherine, c.1970.

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) in her office

Alice Gustava Smith (Sister Maris Stella) in her office at the College of St. Catherine, c.1970.

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