History Posts

June of ’71: Twin Ports to ship ore, coal from western states

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.”

June of ’71: Boo gets his $4k, Chateau de Ville coming soon

Previously denied half of a proposed $4,000 annual pay increase, Duluth Mayor Ben Boo got the full hike two weeks later when one city councilor changed his vote. The meeting was reported on the next day in the June 8, 1971 Duluth Herald.

June of ’71: Duluth Police file suit against Mayor Boo

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.

The Slice: Tour of Murals at the Kom-on-Inn

The interior of the Kom-on-Inn in West Duluth is surrounded with Arthur Fleming’s oil paintings of industry that stretched across the city in the 1950s. The building at 332 N. 57th Ave. W. was constructed in 1891 according to St. Louis County land records and the bar took the name Kom-on-Inn circa 1942 under the proprietorship of Frank M. Crotty according to city directories.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

June of ’71: Duluth sewers failing, Voyageurs Park bill signed

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.

June of ’71: Anderson Furniture completes remodeling project

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.

June of ’71: Council debates Mayor Boo’s pay raise

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.

June of ’71: Western Union workers strike

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.

The Slice: A Historic Classroom in Old Central

Take a trip 130 years into the past with a visit to the 1890s classroom museum at historic Old Central High School. Visitors can view what a classroom at the turn of the century looked like and can even tour the iconic bell tower.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

June of ’71: Introduction

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.

Video Archive: Bob Dylan’s childhood home in Hibbing, 1988

WDIO-TV has pulled this relic from its archive to share during Duluth Dylan Fest week. The news clip is from Oct. 10, 1988. Dylan’s boyhood home was on the market at the time. Reporter Leonard Lee went inside the house and into the former bedroom of the music icon where a shrine of sorts had been displayed. Items of note: an autograph from a pre-fame Bobby Zimmerman and a mezuzah shaped like a guitar.

The moments where the video briefly drops out are glitches in the 3/4-inch tape.

Elvis slept here: Radisson opens Legends Suite

Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview Sales and Marketing Director Nancy Kilpo poses with Duluth musician Todd Eckart, impersonating Elvis Presley, in the hotel’s newly redecorated Legends Suite. Presley stayed in the 15th floor suite following Duluth performances in 1976 and 1977. (Photo by Mark Nicklawske)

Elvis Presley fans who want to live like the king of rock and roll now have a special place to stay in Duluth.

The Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview, 505 Superior St., has redecorated and renamed its 15th floor suite where Presley stayed following Twin Ports performances in 1976 and 1977. The Legends Suite features concert photos, posters, a ticket stub and other memorabilia recognizing the Presley visit as well as tributes to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan — who was born in Duluth — and country music outlaw Willie Nelson.

Postcard from a Birdseye View of Duluth

Duluth Dukes bus for sale on Facebook Marketplace

An interesting ad for a 1956 Flxible Visicoach popped up May 4 on Facebook. The destination sign on the bus reads “Duluth Dukes.” Apparently, it’s a former team bus.

Woodland baseball team of 1921 had grand season

This photo from the May 21, 1921 Duluth Herald shows the baseball team from Duluth’s Woodland neighborhood, which compiled a 7-3 record — a “grand season” by Roaring Twenties standards. According to the photo caption, the team played indoor baseball in the Cobb School gymnasium.

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