Tops in the local news 50 years ago was the potential for increased grain shipments through the Twin Ports resulting from President Richard Nixon lifting restrictions on trade with Communist countries. The June 11, 1971 Duluth Herald reported the president’s action ended a 21-year-old embargo on selling most consumer goods to Red China.
So far it looks like those snappy little vaccines work and the number of events around town is climbing. The PDD Calendar continues to be the faraway leader in listing Duluth-area happenings — from beer gardens and sailboat races to book launches and ball games. Each month we reach out with one beggarly blog post to remind everyone that human beings and not machines are at work editing and publishing calendar events. So if you appreciate it, drop a few bucks in the PayPal account.
At the top of the news fifty years ago was a growing mining industry in the west potentially feeding Duluth-Superior harbor traffic. The June 9, 1971 Duluth Herald reported “at least one, and possibly two, new bulk commodities” mined in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota “appear likely to be hauled to Duluth by rail to be loaded on board lake and ocean-going vessels.”
The Duluth Police Union accused Mayor Ben Boo of breach of contract 50 years ago. The June 7, 1971 Duluth Herald reports the union took issue with Boo’s administrative order prohibiting police officers from selling used cars, dispensing liquor or operating a taxi business during off-duty hours.
Sewer system malfunctions were on the rise in Duluth 50 years ago. The June 4, 1971 Duluth Herald reported 48 claims had been filed against the city through June 3, an amount that nearly doubled the rate of 1970, when 51 claims were made in the full year.
Wilbur Anderson and Dean Reese of Anderson Furniture announced the completion of an extensive remodeling project at their Anderson Furniture Co. store fifty years ago. The Duluth Herald of June 3, 1971 provides the details of the work done at 2032 W. Superior St., also noting the remodeling was planned to fit in with a proposed new mall across the street. Of course, Miller Hill Mall would open instead, two years later.
Duluth Mayor Ben Boo was on the verge of a pay increase 50 years ago, but several city councilors planned to amend the measure and cut the raise in half. That was the top local story in the June 2, 1971 Duluth Herald.
A national walkout of Western Union workers in 1971 included 12 employees in Duluth and about 13 more from around the region. According to the Duluth Herald of June 1, the United Telegraph Workers and the Communications Workers of America had walked off the job over wage and job security issues. The average CWA wage at the time was $3.47 per hour.
You might recall a feature on Perfect Duluth Day called “Summer of ’65,” which ran during the month of August 2015 and highlighted items that appeared in the Duluth News Tribune 50 years prior. Volume II of that concept begins tomorrow with “June of ’71,” featuring items from the Duluth Herald.
Both of the bound volumes of a month’s worth of newspapers came to PDD via Jenny Ahern, who taught at Harbor City International School when she passed them along. It’s not known how the books made their way to Harbor City, but the school didn’t have a practical use for them. So now we share some of the nostalgia here, day by day, for a month.
The Herald published five issues weekly at that time, Monday through Friday, and the dates and days of the week in 1971 correspond with the dates and days of the week in 2021, so there will be no June of ’71 posts on weekends.
There are several different species of tent caterpillar. The one’s shown here, photographed in West Duluth, look a tad different than the dreaded forest tent caterpillars that defoliate trees and shrubs in nightmarish fashion.