History Posts

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.

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.

June of ’71: Grain ban lifted, Grease Band coming

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.

Video Archive: Wacky Olympics of 1978

Students from Lincoln, Woodland, Washington and Morgan Park schools in Duluth participated in the “Wacky Olympics” at Ordean Field in 1978. Mary Ellen Miller of KBJR-TV has the story.

June of ’71: Death, Taxes and Vandalism

Among the news items in the June 10, 1971 edition of the Duluth Herald:

  • Longtime labor and civic leader Morgan J. Blankush died at the age of 57. He had been a machinist at U.S. Steel Duluth Works since 1936.
  • Duluth industrialist Jeno Paulucci defended his recommendation for a hike from 11-1/2 cents to 50 cents per ton for the taconite production tax. Area steelworkers lent their support to his proposal.

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