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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,”.

July 6, 1977: Roger Caldwell charged with the murders at Glensheen

On this day in 1977, Roger Caldwell—husband of Marjorie Congdon LeRoy Caldwell—was arrested and charged with the murders of his mother-in-law, Elisabeth Congdon, and nurse Velma Pietila. The arrest was made by detectives Gary Waller and Jack Greene in the Methodist Hospital in Bloomington, Minnesota, close to where he and Marjorie had been staying in…

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July 5, 1930:  Birth of actor Tommy Cook

On this day in Duluth in 1930, Thomas Mosely Cook was born to Emanuel S. and Fern J. Cook. The family moved to Los Angeles when Tommy was just six years old in the hope that the weather would improve his father’s health. The elder Cook suffered from Bright’s Disease, a kidney ailment often treated…

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July 4, 1988: Accidental fireworks explosion at Bayfront Park

On this day in Duluth in 1988, the “grand finale” portion of the Fourth Fest fireworks display went off 20 minutes early, creating a dazzling and dangerous display. According to the Duluth News Tribune, “a spectacular explosion apparently ignited by a dud shell…sent dozens of fireworks in all directions, raining sparks on the crowd, causing…

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July 3, 1912: Opening of Snively Road, aka Seven Bridges Road

On this day in Duluth in 1912, Snively Road—later renamed Seven Bridges Road—officially opened as a Duluth roadway. The city announced that “while no formalities are to be observed today in connection with the opening to traffic the public is urged by members of the park board to drive over the road and enjoy its…

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July 2, 1955: Marriage of Duluthians creates “power couple”

On this day in Duluth in 1955, Margaret Ann Hubbard and Joseph Priley married, forming one of Duluth’s great “power couples” long before anyone used the term “power couple.” Priley was a local bandleader, performing under the name “Joseph Priley and His Orchestra” and a tireless civic booster. He encouraged others to take pride in…

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July 1, 1963: Duluth’s 1889 Spalding Hotel closes

On this day in Duluth in 1963, the 1889 Spalding Hotel at 424 West Superior Street closed after 74 years of operation; it was demolished a few months later. The brick, terra cotta, and brownstone building stood seven stories above Superior Street—eight above Michigan Street. When it opened, the Spalding was described as an “artistic…

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June 30, 1906: White City Amusement Park opens on Minnesota Point

On this day in Duluth in 1906, the White City Amusement Park opened on Minnesota Point at Oatka Beach, just past 40th Street. Attempting to take advantage of the popularity of Minnesota Point after the Aerial Transfer Bridge began operation a year earlier, members of Duluth’s Retail Merchant’s Association, Real Estate Exchange, and the Duluth…

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June 29, 1932: Duluthian featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”

On this day in 1932, newspapers across the country ran a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” cartoon featuring Duluthian Clint Russel, a blind golfer. The cartoon shows Russel addressing the ball above the caption “C. F. Russel of Duluth, Minn. Although Totally Blind Shot an 84! Ridgeview Country Club, Duluth, Minn.” Clinton Francis Russell was…

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June 27, 1880: Murder at the Tischer Farm beer garden

On this day outside Duluth in 1880, Edward Brennan was killed by Herman Oppel at the Tischer Farm beer garden. John Tischer, whose parents owned the farm located along the Lake Superior Shore immediately east of the creek named for them, had obtained a Sunday beer license from St. Louis County, as the farm was…

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