Yesterday's News | Star Tribune

Yesterday's News


May 25, 1923: Bohemian Flats women defy eviction notice

Bohemian Flats below the Washington Avenue Bridge, Minneapolis, in about 1910.

"Women of the flats stood guard over their thresholds while police attempted to eject them for failure to pay rent on the grounds on which the dwellings stand. A near-riot was halted when a second court order was served on police, ordering a stay of the ejections."


Feb. 14, 1885: Some valentines 'are simply vile and they become worse every year'

"The designs this year," said a dealer in speaking of the trade, "are if anything, prettier than ever; everything runs to flowers, the old style of paper lace with bleeding hearts and dagger accompaniments have almost gone out of date. Some of the more elaborate like this one (holding up a magnificent design of plush) come us high as $20, but a girl has got to be pretty solid to receive as costly a token as this."


Feb. 18, 1936: My bloody valentine

In far harder times — the Great Depression — a blood-covered plate teeming with germs was apparently an acceptable valentine.


Dec. 14, 1980: Ahmad Rashad's 'miracle catch' at Met Stadium

The Vikings trailed Cleveland by a point, 23-22, and Tommy Kramer had just launched a pass from the Browns' 46-yard line into the right corner of the end zone, with four seconds showing on the scoreboard clock.


Jan. 22, 1922: An organ grinder's despair

A Minneapolis sewer worker despondent over the abduction and death of his performing monkey braces himself for a far more painful loss.


May 23, 1950: Mother of 10 serves Wonder Bread

A photo of Betty McClellan surrounded by her 10 children was featured in a four-column Wonder Bread ad in the Minneapolis Tribune in May 1950.


May 15, 1905: Wonderland amusement park opens

Thousands flocked to 31st and E. Lake Street in May 1905 for a preview of a new 10-acre amusement park called Wonderland. A Tribune reporter in attendance somehow captured the glittery excitement of the day without getting a single quote from the park's owners, visitors or employees.


Nov. 14, 1971: Vikings 3, Packers 0

The last time the Vikings shut out the Packers, I was a 12-year-old kid listening to the game on the radio in a living room in Richfield. The game, played at the Met, was not broadcast on local television. Here's the Minneapolis Star account of the fourth-quarter interception that led to Minnesota's winning field goal.


Dec. 6, 1910: Good Fellows fill thousands of Christmas stockings

It was a wonderful suggestion from a reader, and the newspaper jumped on it with enthusiasm: Find impoverished children in need of Christmas cheer and match them with generous citizens who want to play Santa Claus.


Dec. 21, 1890: A new name for Lake Calhoun? Not exactly

These chaps posing on the banks of Lake Calhoun in about 1890 belonged to the Lurline Boat Club. The rowing attire of the day didn't leave much to the

A Tribune editorial correctly predicted that restoring the original name, "Mendoza," would not stick.


Jan. 20, 1947: Ice harvest on Cedar Lake

The Minneapolis Tribune once described it as "the one crop in Minnesota that never fails."


Nov. 3, 1968: A bad Jimi Hendrix experience

He "doesn't sing too well, and he doesn't play his white guitar too well, but he does have a lot of sex," one critic wrote after witnessing Jimi Hendrix play the Minneapolis Auditorium.


Feb. 8, 1922: Indian reputed to be 137 years old dies at Cass Lake

Ga-Be-Nah-Gewn-Wonce (variously known as Kay-bah-nung-we-way, Sloughing Flesh, Wrinkled Meat or plain old—well, really old—John Smith) was reputed to be 137 years old when he died. Whatever his precise age, his well-lined face indicates a man who led a long and full life. He had eight wives but no children. He fought, he fished, he counseled, he rode horses and trains, he appeared in moving pictures and he sold postcards. The Tribune's page-one obituary featured a two-column photo of Ga-Be-Nah-Gewn-Wonce.


1920s: Girls' rifle team was bobbed and dangerous

Little is known about the Park Board girls' rifle team beyond what can be deduced from a Minneapolis Journal photo taken in about 1920.


March 25, 1963: Would you ever run for governor? Garrison Keillor says no

March 25, 1963: Would you ever run for governor? Garrison Keillor says no

"Just ask," a man-on-the-street photo feature, appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune from November 1946 until June 1964.


June 27, 1909: Man pours cream into his sleeve

Read it in the voice of Garrison Keillor for the full effect.


May 14, 1956: Elvis Presley plays the Twin Cities

Elvis Presley, young bump-and-grind artist, turned a rainy Sunday afternoon into an orgy of squealing in St. Paul auditorium.


July 11, 1971: A brand-new woman takes the stage at the Gay 90's

The first sex-reassignment surgery performed in Minnesota took place more than 40 years ago at the University of Minnesota. Twenty-nine male-to-female operations were completed at the Minneapolis hospital between 1966 and 1969. Among the patients was Liz Lyons, a veteran female impersonator who had worked at the Gay 90s bar on Hennepin Avenue for many years before making the transition. Lyons was born in Chicago in 1919. The name on the birth certificate: Reuben Elkins. The gender: male. She took the name Lee Leonard when she launched her "songs and comedy" act at nightclubs in California, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska in the early 1950s. Will Jones, longtime entertainment columnist for the Minneapolis Tribune, let Lyons fill in the rest of her unusual story.


Aug. 19, 1920: Baseball's intricacies too much for Romanian prince

Aug. 19, 1920: Baseball's intricacies too much for Romanian prince

"Well, now," said Prince Carol of Roumania, who sat directly back of the catcher in a box seat at the ball game at St. Paul yesterday afternoon, "why didn't that man strike at the ball?"


Oct. 31, 1967: Accosted by robber, Minneapolis woman says: 'Get lost'

Fifty years ago today, the Minneapolis Tribune provided potential evildoers with a trove of information about an innocent young woman: her name, age, date of birth, weight, place of work and home address. The practice was common back then. Except for weight and birthdate, such details were frequently disclosed in newspaper stories of the 1950s and 1960s. The young woman, Sheila Keating, married Odell Hegna later that year. She went on to make a name for herself as an advocate for fair housing, economic development and battered women. She died in March 2017.