History 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.

CBS Sunday Morning: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mäntylä House, formerly of Cloquet, reassembled in Pennsylvania

A piece of Cloquet history popped up on CBS Sunday Morning today, but it’s in Cloquet no more. Mäntylä House, designed by visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, has been rebuilt at Polymath Park in southwest Pennsylvania. In the video, CBS Correspondent Lee Cowan talks with the park’s proprietors, and with the Minnesota couple whose home was moved, piece by piece.

Video Archive: Desegregating Duluth Schools in 1971

In June of 1971, 50 years ago this month, WDIO reporter Stu Stronach did a series of special reports on the then-ongoing process of desegregating the Duluth public school system. This video is a compilation of those reports.

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.

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.”

Glensheen drone fly-through

Jay Christensen, the talented drone pilot and former Duluthian who captured the amazing Bryant-Lake Bowl fly through a couple of months ago, sent his camera spinning through the halls, rooms and grounds at Glensheen Mansion.

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.”

Video Archive: Grandma’s Marathon of 1979

WDIO-TV assembled these 16mm film clips of raw footage from the third annual Grandma’s Marathon, held on June 23, 1979. British runner Ricky Wilde won the race that year with a time of 2:14:44; he can be seen in some slow-motion footage taken from a vehicle riding alongside him on the racecourse.

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.

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