This Day in Duluth Archive

Use our search function to find “This Day” entries for a specific day of the year. Spell out the month and include a comma after the date numeral, do not include a year, and place it all within quotation marks, like this: “May 1,”.

August 19, 1922: The murder of Duluth’s Dr. J. J. Eklund

On this day in Duluth in 1922, respected physician Dr. J. J. Eklund was shot to death in his office in the Long Block at 7 East Superior Street. According to Duluth historian Heidi Bakk-Hansen, a “clean-shaven man in a cheap-looking suit had entered Eklund’s examination room and—without uttering a single word—pointed a .32 caliber…

Read More

August 18, 1929: Bear checks himself into the Hotel Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1929, a black bear took up an extremely brief and violent residency in the Hotel Duluth. The bear had apparently followed a truck driven by Arvid Peterson, who travelled London Road to Superior Street on his way to downtown Duluth to deliver a load a fish harvested by fishermen…

Read More

August 17, 1870: Fires in Duluth test new volunteer fire department 

On this day in Duluth in 1870, a fire on Minnesota Point was the first call to Duluth’s newly established volunteer fire department, which was little more than a bucket brigade. The fire inside J. C. Funston’s furniture store was discovered by a Mr. Berkelman, who also resided in the building. Berkelman was only able…

Read More

August 15, 1965: The christening of the USS Duluth

On this day in 1965, the USS Duluth was christened in New York’s Brooklyn Naval Yard by Nancy Solomonson, the daughter of the Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Also on hand were Senator Walter Mondale, Representative John A. Blatnick, and Duluth Mayor George D. Johnson. The Duluth, an amphibious transport vessel, was one of the…

Read More

August 14, 1911: Idea to “move” the Duluth Ship Canal ridiculed

On this day in Duluth in 1911, veteran mariners of the Duluth-Superior harbor ridiculed an idea to “move” the Duluth Ship Canal. The plan called for both the Duluth Ship Canal and the Superior Entry—each widened and reinforced with concrete piers by the federal government just a decade earlier—to both be filled in and a…

Read More

August 12, 1916: “Human Fly” scales Duluth’s Alworth Building

On this day in Duluth in 1916, Harry H. Gardiner—billed as the “World’s Most Daring Athlete”—scaled Duluth’s Alworth Building, then and today the tallest building in Duluth. Gardiner’s stunt, sponsored by the Grand Theatre and the Duluth’s Interstate Auto Company, was his second that week, having scaled the Torrey Building a few days earlier. According…

Read More

August 10, 1907: Seven men drown in Duluth Harbor

On this day in Duluth in 1907, seven men drowned in the Duluth adjacent to the Northern Pacific freight house on the slip at the foot of 12th Avenue West. According to historian Heidi Bakk-Hansen, eleven men had overloaded a rowboat in effort to avoid a longer walk after their shifts; in the busy waters…

Read More