Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century
The Growth of an American City
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Author’s Note and Acknowledgments
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In the spring of 2007, I had the opportunity to teach a course on Minneapolis history for the University of Minnesota’s Osher Life-long Learning Institute (olli). As a history but with journalistic rather than academic proclivities, I had written about life in Min-Cities publications. Now, with the olli course, I had a chance to...
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The turn of a new century was greeted with little fanfare in Minnesota’s largest city. “So far as Minneapolis is concerned, the year 1900 was ushered in with no more ceremony that any former year of the series 1800,” the Minneapolis Times observed on January 1. “The whistles steamed forth their tidings of the glad new year, the bells in the courthouse tower clanged...
Struggle over Structure
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T. B. Walker could barely contain his anger. Minneapolis was about to get a “dictator,” Walker thundered in a letter to the editor of the Minneapolis Tribune. The influential civic leader’s strong words were provoked by an ambitious plan in 1900 to overhaul the city’s charter. A passionate opponent of charter...
The Shame of Minneapolis
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The crusading civic reformer was seething with outrage when he confronted the mayor of Minneapolis on the steps of city hall. “Yes, Doc Ames . . . I’m after you,” Hovey C. Clarke declared angrily. “I’ve been in this town for seventeen years, and all that time you’ve been a moral leper . . . Now, I’m going to put you where all contagious things are put—where you cannot...
Blood in the Streets
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On a spring morning in 1934, a Minneapolis attorney named Arthur Lyman woke up, got dressed, pulled on a pair of leather mountain boots, and made his way down to the city’s market district, just a short drive from his Lowry Hill home. Lyman was a member in good standing of the city’s economic...
The Curious Twin
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Carey McWilliams may not have set out to shame this city’s upstanding citizens, but his 1946 article accomplished that result, just as Lincoln Steffens’s “Shame of Minneapolis” had done nearly a half century earlier. In “Minneapolis: The Curious Twin,” published in the magazine Common Ground, McWilliams...
Plymouth Avenue Is Burning
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Harry Davis received the phone call at 2 am on a July morning in 1967. Minneapolis mayor Art Naftalin was on the line, asking Davis to come down to the North Side’s Plymouth Avenue as soon as possible. A group of young people had torched some shops on Plymouth, and now much of the avenue was on fire. Naftalin feared a full-scale riot would break out at any...
Reimagining the Riverfront
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Jonathan Raban was not at all impressed with the downtown riverfront. In 1979, the British author had used Minneapolis as the starting point for his trip down the Mississippi on a sixteen foot motorboat. Later, he would write about the trip in his book Old Glory: A Voyage Down the Mississippi: I had crossed and recrossed the Mississippi. There were...
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“Southdale has to be seen to be believed,” the Minneapolis Tribune gushed in October 1956 when the country’s first fully enclosed shopping center opened at France Avenue and Sixty-sixth Street in Edina. The center “is an astonishing combination of modern retailing and the traditional town square...
Roads and Tracks
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Ken Fletcher’s hand-drawn map shows a gently curving line interrupted by a series of black dots. An amateur transit enthusiast, Fletcher produced his map in 1976, at a time when transportation in Minnesota meant highways. Back then, few people had heard of the system Fletcher called “Light Rail Transit.” The simple map, unembellished by colorful graphics, portrayed...
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The polls opened in Minneapolis at 7 am on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. That day, in elections throughout the state, voters would narrow the field of candidates for local public offices. Just as polling was getting under way, word of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City arrived. In the...
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Index / Picture Credits
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Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 40 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2010