Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota Historical Society The Minnesota Historical Society preserves Minnesota's past, shares our state's stories and connects people with history in meaningful ways.

The Minnesota Historical Society is part of Minnesota's rich history. Since 1849, we've grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious historical societies in the country. We play an important role in our state's historic preservation, education and tourism; and provide the public with award-winning programs, exhibitions and events.

09/17/2021
Wild Rice Winnowing

The third step in wild rice processing is winnowing, which follows parching (drying) and threshing (breaking off husks) of the rice. Usually done in a lightweight, shallow tray or basket, winnowing involves sifting the rice back and forth while tossing it up in the air; in the process the outer husks are mostly blown away, leaving the heavier kernels of rice to fall to the bottom of the basket. After winnowing, stray bits of husks and other debris are picked out by hand, after which the rice is ready to eat or store!

Video courtesy of Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post. To see the process in person, visit them this Sat., Sept 18 for a live demonstration: https://www.facebook.com/events/499181197832401

Today's Item of the Day is the 1958 Minneapolis North High School yearbook, which we are using to announce a new service...
09/17/2021

Today's Item of the Day is the 1958 Minneapolis North High School yearbook, which we are using to announce a new service available from the Gale Family Reference Library — our Yearbook Research Service!

Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3tAB6dC

Today's Item of the Day is the 1958 Minneapolis North High School yearbook, which we are using to announce a new service available from the Gale Family Reference Library — our Yearbook Research Service!

Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3tAB6dC

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!Why does this heritage month run from September 15 to October 15? September 15 was chosen ...
09/16/2021

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Why does this heritage month run from September 15 to October 15? September 15 was chosen to kick off the month because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, all of which declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21 respectively.

Since today is Mexican Independence Day, we feature this photo from the Mexican Independence Day Parade in St. Paul 50 years ago. The parade itself was held on Friday, September 17, 1971.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Why does this heritage month run from September 15 to October 15? September 15 was chosen to kick off the month because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, all of which declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21 respectively.

Since today is Mexican Independence Day, we feature this photo from the Mexican Independence Day Parade in St. Paul 50 years ago. The parade itself was held on Friday, September 17, 1971.

09/16/2021
Artist in the Gallery: A Conversation with Holly Young

Join artist Holly Young (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) and MNHS Curator Ben Gessner for a conversation exploring Dakota floral art, ledger art and other Plains pictographic representational art.

Young is a Dakota beadwork artist with over eight years of experience in creating jewelry, moccasins, quillwork, cradleboards, and ledger art. She was born and raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, made up of both Dakota and Lakota communities.

She is committed to preserving and sharing traditional art forms and lifeways of her people by practicing Winyan Omniciye, the circle of sharing knowledge—what you learn, you give back. She was a Minnesota Historical Society Native American Artist-In-Residence in 2015.

To learn more about Young's work, follow her on Instagram (@holly_young_artist) or like her on Facebook.

This program will be streamed live and also archived as a recording on Facebook and YouTube.

The Artist in the Gallery series highlights many of the artists featured in the Our Home: Native Minnesota, now on view at the Minnesota History Center.

Support for this program provided by the Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation.

Today is the first day of Bisexual Awareness Week, which culminates on September 23 in Celebrate Bisexuality Day (aka Bi...
09/16/2021

Today is the first day of Bisexual Awareness Week, which culminates on September 23 in Celebrate Bisexuality Day (aka Bisexual Pride Day or Bisexual Visibility Day). Minnesota's rich bi+ history includes individuals as well as organizations—especially the Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP). Read about the project's evolution on MNopedia: https://www.mnopedia.org/group/bisexual-organizing-project

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today is the first day of Bisexual Awareness Week, which culminates on September 23 in Celebrate Bisexuality Day (aka Bisexual Pride Day or Bisexual Visibility Day). Minnesota's rich bi+ history includes individuals as well as organizations—especially the Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP). Read about the project's evolution on MNopedia: https://www.mnopedia.org/group/bisexual-organizing-project

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of atonement observed through solemn reflection, prayer, ritual, and song. A pie...
09/16/2021

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of atonement observed through solemn reflection, prayer, ritual, and song. A piece of Minnesota's musical history related to the holiday was preserved in 1988, when Mt. Zion Temple (St. Paul) and Plymouth Congregational Church (Minneapolis) collaborated to record Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah songs on a cassette called Kol Teshuvah: The Music of the High Holy Days. The Minnesota Historical Society acquired a copy of the cassette in 1989 and makes it available to interested researchers/listeners through the Gale Family Library. The Library is currently accessible by appointment only.

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of atonement observed through solemn reflection, prayer, ritual, and song. A piece of Minnesota's musical history related to the holiday was preserved in 1988, when Mt. Zion Temple (St. Paul) and Plymouth Congregational Church (Minneapolis) collaborated to record Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah songs on a cassette called Kol Teshuvah: The Music of the High Holy Days. The Minnesota Historical Society acquired a copy of the cassette in 1989 and makes it available to interested researchers/listeners through the Gale Family Library. The Library is currently accessible by appointment only.

This painting shows an autumn scene of Swede Hollow, simply titled "Swede Hollow." It is an oil on canvas by Bob Brown, ...
09/15/2021

This painting shows an autumn scene of Swede Hollow, simply titled "Swede Hollow." It is an oil on canvas by Bob Brown, circa 1945.

Sparse houses sit at the bottom of Swede Hollow at center, below a grove of trees. The Hamm's Brewery is visible in the distant background at left and a silhouette of the Hamm mansion is seen at right. A train passes through the scene at bottom left.

This painting shows an autumn scene of Swede Hollow, simply titled "Swede Hollow." It is an oil on canvas by Bob Brown, circa 1945.

Sparse houses sit at the bottom of Swede Hollow at center, below a grove of trees. The Hamm's Brewery is visible in the distant background at left and a silhouette of the Hamm mansion is seen at right. A train passes through the scene at bottom left.

09/14/2021
Jigging Wild Rice

Today's wild rice demonstration shows threshing, the second step in traditional processing. Threshing is typically done either in a hole lined with a hide or tarp or in a bucket or wash tub. Moccasin-clad feet grind off the outer husk of the rice in a motion that looks like a dance or jig; this is why threshing is also known as "dancing" or “jigging" the rice. This breaks the husks and separates them from the rice. Children are often enlisted, since too much weight can damage the rice kernels.

Video courtesy of Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post. To see the process in person, visit them this Sat., Sept 18 for a live demonstration: https://www.facebook.com/events/499181197832401

As the weather inches its way toward being more fall-like, our thoughts turn to cardigans.Today we present this A-line p...
09/14/2021

As the weather inches its way toward being more fall-like, our thoughts turn to cardigans.

Today we present this A-line polyester knit dress with a cardigan, worn by Barbara Grahn of Minneapolis in 1970. The sleeveless dress has a white top with dark blue collar, dark blue skirt, and the appearance of a red, yellow and blue belt. The sweater is edged in the same dark blue, with a red, white, yellow and blue design.

As the weather inches its way toward being more fall-like, our thoughts turn to cardigans.

Today we present this A-line polyester knit dress with a cardigan, worn by Barbara Grahn of Minneapolis in 1970. The sleeveless dress has a white top with dark blue collar, dark blue skirt, and the appearance of a red, yellow and blue belt. The sweater is edged in the same dark blue, with a red, white, yellow and blue design.

09/13/2021
Parching wild rice

It's wild ricing season in Minnesota, so today we share the first of three videos demonstrating key steps in traditional wild rice processing. Today's video is about wild rice parching, which dries out the wild rice kernel and causes the outer husk to crack slightly. Parching over a wood fire is tricky, but enhances the flavor of the rice.

Video courtesy of Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post. To see the process in person, visit them this Sat., Sept 18 for a live demonstration: https://www.facebook.com/events/499181197832401

Congratulations to Gwen Westerman, last week named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate! Today we feature her book “Follow the Blac...
09/13/2021

Congratulations to Gwen Westerman, last week named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate!

Today we feature her book “Follow the Blackbird” from 2013. A short description of this book reads: “An intricate balance between the singularity of personal experience and the unity of collective longing, Follow the Blackbirds speaks to the affection and appreciation a contemporary poet feels for her family, community, and environment.”

Congratulations to Gwen Westerman, last week named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate!

Today we feature her book “Follow the Blackbird” from 2013. A short description of this book reads: “An intricate balance between the singularity of personal experience and the unity of collective longing, Follow the Blackbirds speaks to the affection and appreciation a contemporary poet feels for her family, community, and environment.”

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we remember the lives lost on this fateful day and the days that followed. To learn mor...
09/11/2021

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we remember the lives lost on this fateful day and the days that followed. To learn more about the history and lessons learned by a new generation, explore the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks, and be inspired by memories of our fortitude, strength, and resilience, visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum site: https://www.911memorial.org/20th-anniversary Image by Ben Hider

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we remember the lives lost on this fateful day and the days that followed. To learn more about the history and lessons learned by a new generation, explore the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks, and be inspired by memories of our fortitude, strength, and resilience, visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum site: https://www.911memorial.org/20th-anniversary Image by Ben Hider

09/10/2021
Native American Artist-in-Residence: Gwen Westerman

Gwen Nell Westerman is the new Minnesota poet laureate! Learn more about her work as a ribbonwork artist from her time in the Native American artist-in-residence program at MNHS in this short video.

You can also read her writings in her MNHS press book Mni Sota Makoce. Mni Sota Makoce is an intricate narrative of the Dakota people over the centuries in their traditional homelands, the stories behind the profound connections that hold true today. https://bit.ly/3A4FCU6

Congratulations to Gwen Nell Westerman on the illustrious and well-deserved honor of being named Minnesota's poet laurea...
09/10/2021
Gwen Nell Westerman is the new Minnesota poet laureate

Congratulations to Gwen Nell Westerman on the illustrious and well-deserved honor of being named Minnesota's poet laureate! She is the first Native American to hold this honor. Westerman is a longtime @MNHS contributor as an author and artist-in-residence. https://bit.ly/3BV1Ubw

Minnesota State University, Mankato, English professor Gwen Nell Westerman will be Minnesota’s new poet laureate. She is an author, poet and quilt art maker who is the first Native person to hold the position.

School is back in session! This photo from the St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press in 1951 shows a new bus for North St. Pau...
09/10/2021

School is back in session! This photo from the St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press in 1951 shows a new bus for North St. Paul Public School kindergartners.

School is back in session! This photo from the St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press in 1951 shows a new bus for North St. Paul Public School kindergartners.

Today is National School Picture Day. Who knew? In honor of the occasion, we present this Micro-Z portrait camera and ca...
09/09/2021

Today is National School Picture Day. Who knew? In honor of the occasion, we present this Micro-Z portrait camera and case, built and used by Lifetouch Inc., of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, from around 1981-2005.

Cameras of this type were brought to schools around the country for taking student portraits. Do you remember looking into one? What's your favorite school picture memory?

Today is National School Picture Day. Who knew? In honor of the occasion, we present this Micro-Z portrait camera and case, built and used by Lifetouch Inc., of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, from around 1981-2005.

Cameras of this type were brought to schools around the country for taking student portraits. Do you remember looking into one? What's your favorite school picture memory?

This saxophone (see it in our collection at https://bit.ly/3mPj8Ti) belonged to St. Paul jazz saxophonist Irv William, k...
09/08/2021

This saxophone (see it in our collection at https://bit.ly/3mPj8Ti) belonged to St. Paul jazz saxophonist Irv William, known as Dr. Smooth. His rich, warm tone earned him his nickname and won him the praise of many famous jazz musicians. Although Williams didn’t like touring, he played tenor sax and clarinet with jazz legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Baise, and Louis Armstrong. Williams enlisted in the Navy during WWII to serve on ships and played in navy bands. He came to St. Paul, Minnesota with one of these bands and ended up meeting his first wife, which led him to make St. Paul his home.

Although he had the opportunity to tour, what kept him in town was his nine kids, he said in an interview with the Pioneer Press in 2016. He taught at St. Paul Public Schools and played at local venues such as Sherwood Supper Club, Cassius’s Bamboo Room, the Flame Bar, the Red Feather, Freddie’s, the Crystal Coach, the Top of the Hilton, and Suzette’s. His career spanned more than eight decades, and his love for music kept him playing even at his 100th birthday party. He “retired” numerous times but continued to play. His talent earned him the honor of the state of Minnesota declaring “Irv Williams Day” in 1984. Celebrate Dr. Smooth and other MN jazz musicians at the Selby Avenue Jazz Festival September 11, 2021. https://bit.ly/3kIAej4

Lest we forget that September is National Chicken Month, here's another reminder. 3M is Minnesota-based company known ar...
09/08/2021

Lest we forget that September is National Chicken Month, here's another reminder. 3M is Minnesota-based company known around the world. But did you know the company had a board game division for a time in the 1960s and 1970s?

This is an example of one of their creations: The "EGGHEAD or chicken" board game, manufactured by 3M Company in 1967.

Lest we forget that September is National Chicken Month, here's another reminder. 3M is Minnesota-based company known around the world. But did you know the company had a board game division for a time in the 1960s and 1970s?

This is an example of one of their creations: The "EGGHEAD or chicken" board game, manufactured by 3M Company in 1967.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began at sundown yesterday, Sep 6, with the blowing of the shofar, an animal horn (t...
09/07/2021

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began at sundown yesterday, Sep 6, with the blowing of the shofar, an animal horn (typically a ram's) that can be used to produce a sound similar to a trumpet's. The holiday will conclude this evening at sundown (or tomorrow evening, depending on the tradition.) This shofar was used at St. Paul's Mount Zion Hebrew Association in 1856 by hazzan Lion Kalmon.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began at sundown yesterday, Sep 6, with the blowing of the shofar, an animal horn (typically a ram's) that can be used to produce a sound similar to a trumpet's. The holiday will conclude this evening at sundown (or tomorrow evening, depending on the tradition.) This shofar was used at St. Paul's Mount Zion Hebrew Association in 1856 by hazzan Lion Kalmon.

On this day, Sep 7, 1876, the James-Younger gang robbed the First National Bank in Northfield, MN. Their plan unraveled ...
09/07/2021

On this day, Sep 7, 1876, the James-Younger gang robbed the First National Bank in Northfield, MN. Their plan unraveled quickly, leaving two gang members and two residents dead. Most of the gang (minus Frank and Jesse James) was captured two weeks later. https://www.mnopedia.org/event/northfield-bank-raid

On this day, Sep 7, 1876, the James-Younger gang robbed the First National Bank in Northfield, MN. Their plan unraveled quickly, leaving two gang members and two residents dead. Most of the gang (minus Frank and Jesse James) was captured two weeks later. https://www.mnopedia.org/event/northfield-bank-raid

09/07/2021
Library Cart Judging Competition

In honor of the final day of the Minnesota State Fair, the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota Historical Society is holding its first Cart Judging Competition!

Happy Labor Day! Created by the labor movement of the late 19th century to recognize the contributions and achievements ...
09/06/2021

Happy Labor Day! Created by the labor movement of the late 19th century to recognize the contributions and achievements of the American worker, Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894.

Shared here is a time clock, sign, and photo of workers from the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. Authorized in 1941, the TCAAP contributed to United States military efforts for more than fifty years.

You can learn more about how Minnesota laborers contributed to the WWII war effort by visiting our exhibit, Minnesota's Greatest Generation.

Objects - MNHS collections circa 1942
Image - MNHS collections, Manufacturing Ammunition, circa 1941

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Comments

I thought id share my Edwin Nooleen original of the stone arc bridge in Dayton. Was hoping to date this piece!
Where are the videos of past forum lectures? Can’t find ....
Im scrapbooking ancestors in a fun way. Thank you for making it possible to understand the roots.
Calandar
I'm originally from Redwing Minnesota. I have a large calandar Brown & Bigelow 1958 3×5. Title bountiful harvest. My relative ole Larson painted the animals on the calandar. I've been trying to find It on Google no luck. I would appreciate any help Thank you mitchell Brelsford 17072170739 [email protected] My mother's name was lucritia oshaunesy father Clark Brelsford Everybody worked at Redwing Shoe
Trying to get on Curt Brown's "live" conversation.....???!!!???
Can you please tell me if this historical marker still exists and, if yes, exactly where it is located? Thank you.
What did the State Fair do in 1919 to prevent the spread of influenza during that pandemic?
Wanted wish everyone a Happy Easter! I found my roasting pan and am going to use it to bake my ham in the oven. It is a Foley Roasting Pan from the Foley Manufacturing Company, of Minneapolis. My Grandmother, Elizabeth Zdon used to work there. I have several other Foley Baking ware and utensils from that same factory also.
VIDEO: 1st Minnesota, exclusively at Gettysburg Lessons
Please add virtual author talks and others as Facebook events on this site. Helpful to remember the dates and listen. Thanks.
We're doing our part to preserve Minnesotan history! Keep it up MHS.