Paul Lundgren Posts

June of ’71: Leo Spooner wins Reidar Lund golf tourney

Fifty years ago Duluth’s Leo Spooner won his third Reidar Lund Skyline Memorial Golf Tournament at Enger Park. The victory came on June 27, 1971, and was reported in the June 28 issue of the Duluth Herald.

June of ’71: Ports-Range Expressway nearly done

The final four-way segment on Highway 53 between Duluth and Virginia was nearing the end of construction 50 years ago. The June 25, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that “full expressway travel” between the two cities was “10 years in the making. The 12-mile segment between Pike Lake and Independence was expected to open in September. Reconstruction and resurfacing of the 73-mile highway began in 1961.

June of ’71: Election Day liquor sales coming to Duluth

Off-sale liquor stores in Duluth were closed on Memorial Day and on election days 50 years ago, but things were about to change. The June 23, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that the city’s alcoholic beverage board voted in favor of letting the stores open, leaving it up to the city council to follow the recommendation. The action was authorized by a March 15 action of the state legislature.

June of ’71: Last Duluth “Gooney Bird” retired

The last C-47 “Gooney Bird” military transport aircraft based in Duluth was retired 50 years ago. The June 23, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that the C-47 left the Duluth Air Force Base to join other obsolete aircraft in the Air Force Logistics Command’s Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center in Arizona. The “Gooney Bird” was a 1944 model that was used in World War II.

Perfect Duluth Day Outdoor Summer Concert Primer 2021

A Band Called Truman, seen here performing as part of the Chester Creek Concert Series in 2017, returns to Chester Bowl on Aug. 10 as part of the 2021 series. (Photo by Brian Barber)

Last summer was such a bummer, Perfect Duluth Day didn’t even bother publishing its annual preview of outdoor concerts. There was nearly nothing to report. With the pandemic seemingly under control in 2021, however, the list of options is lengthy. Rock, however, seems to have barely survived the pandemic. Bluegrass, folk and country dominate the concert scene.

June of ’71: Gravel pit site to become Chester Grove Apartments

An old city gravel pit on College Street near the University of Minnesota Duluth was sold to a Duluth construction firm 50 years ago. The June 22, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that Johnson Builders had plans to build “a student-faculty apartment complex worth nearly $700,000.”

June of ’71: Concert Under the Sun

A rock concert staged on a farm field about 20 miles south of Duluth was in the news 50 years ago. The June 21, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that “about 300 young people” attended what was called the Concert Under the Sun, “along with 30 sheriff’s deputies, reserve offices, rescue squad personnel and state game wardens.”

Duluth is the Summer City of the Continent

Happy solstice! This magazine advertisement from 1918 promotes the summer weather and charm of Duluth, including the “hundreds of miles of perfect roads.”

Wop Wap Wopatui Wopatusi Whatever

Back before the pandemic, when sharing germs was cool, human beings gathered around buffets of food and troughs of alcohol. It was a simpler time.

A meme in my Facebook feed a few months back featured a blurry image of someone pouring Hawaiian Punch into a cooler with chunks of fruit floating in it. In the background of the photo were various bottles of booze. I instantly recognized what was happening; someone was mixing up a wop.

But the caption on top of the image read: “This is what a WAP was back in the day …”

A wap? As in, rhymes with snap? What the hell is that? And why is it capitalized? Is it an acronym? Wild Ass Punch?

Don’t overthink it. This awful group-cocktail-in-a-bucket idea is worthy of the poorly crafted meme that celebrates it.

June of ’71: Foster homes needed in Duluth

Duluth’s 290 licensed foster homes were falling short of meeting the need 50 years ago. The June 18, 1971 Duluth Herald reported “a crucial situation,” in which “good kids” wound up in detention centers for lack of foster homes.

June of ’71: Kenwood 1 & 2 movie theaters open

Kenwood 1 & 2, a twin movie complex in Duluth, opened 50 years ago. The June 17, 1971 Duluth Herald reported work was being rushed for the formal opening on June 18. The two theaters, situated in the Kenwood Shopping Center, had seating capacities of 520 and 280. The opening films were the science-fiction thriller The Andromeda Strain and a reissue of Lawrence of Arabia.

Summer of ’71: Model City, Model Residents

The Duluth Model City Administration issued a directive 50 years ago to local contractors requiring them to hire more neighborhood residents. The June 16, 1971 Duluth Herald reports that “contractors who bid for work funded at least in part by Model City monies must agree that Model Neighborhood residents be given a certain number of jobs in all construction, rehabilitation, alteration and repair contracts.”

The Part of Morgan Park that No Longer Exists

Former Duluthian Ina Wesenberg contacted Perfect Duluth Day with the hope that someone can provide information about an old apartment complex she lived in as a child in the 1950s. She recalls it was on the western edge of the Morgan Park neighborhood, away from the concrete homes of the planned community.

June of ’71: Ground broken on Tri-Towers

Ground was broken 50 years ago today for the Tri-Towers apartment complex at 222 N. Second Ave. E. in Duluth’s Central Hillside. The June 15, 1971 Duluth Herald reported that the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority planned 290 units of housing for low-income elderly people. The total construction cost was expected to be $4.2 million. Monthly rents were estimated to range between $35 and $45 per month including utilities.

June of ’71: Drunkenness no longer a crime

Among the news 50 years ago today, as reported in the June 14, 1971 issue of the Duluth Herald:

  • Drunkenness will no longer be a crime in Minnesota after July 1. The state legislature felt the social problem of abusing alcohol should be taken out of the courts and into treatment agencies. In 1970, “1,502 persons were in Duluth Municipal Court on drunk charges — more than were charged with any other offense, except traffic violations,” the Herald reported. But in 1971 Duluth lacked programs to handle alcohol abuse. H. Leonard Boche, director of the Governor’s Commission on Drug Abuse and Alcoholic Problems, told the paper a detoxification center could be developed out of the Arrowhead Center for Problem Drinking.

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