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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,”.

December 10, 1939: Hotel Duluth hosts first television telecast in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1939, the Hotel Duluth hosted a viewing of the first television telecast in Duluth, sponsored by the Zenith City’s Kelley-Howe-Thomson company, hardware distributors. The headlines read “3,000 See Telecast” and “Radio’s New Magic Shown Here.” Here’s the entire report from the following day’s Duluth News Tribune: “Television came to…

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December 8, 1915: Duluth rejects plans to sell old Armory

On this day in Duluth in 1915, three of Duluth’s five commissioners rejected a plan to sell the Third Regiment Armory, unneeded for military use now that Duluth had a brand new National Guard Armory on London Road. Instead, they backed an idea by D. A. Reed, manager of Duluth’s water and light department, to…

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December 5, 1933: Prohibition repealed, but Duluth remains dry

On this day in 1933, while the rest of the nation celebrated the repeal of Prohibition, Duluthians still could not get a drink—nor could anyone else in the state, for that matter. In fact, only 23 U.S. states were ready to sell alcohol legally. This was due to state laws passed prior to the 1919…

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December 4, 1963: Ceiling of Central High Cafeteria Collapses 

On this day in Duluth in 1963, the ceiling of Central High School’s cafeteria collapsed at about 2:20 in the afternoon, 90 minutes after students completed lunch. No one was injured by the falling plaster and acoustic tiles, which ripped a drinking fountain from the pillar it was mounted to and crushed several chairs. But…

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December 3, 1865: The beginning of the Vermilion Gold Rush

On this day in 1865, the Minnesota Gold Mining Company was established, marking the start of the Vermilion Gold Rush. Earlier that summer, geologist Henry Ames traveled to Lake Vermilion to look for valuable minerals. By the time he arrived in St. Paul on October 28, 1865, rumors were already swirling about a valuable gold…

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December 2, 1918: Opening of U.S. Grant Elementary 

On this day in Duluth in 1918, the U.S. Grant Elementary School opened at Eight Avenue East and Eleventh Street. The building cost $200,000 and was considered “one of the best” such facilities in the city—at least the “most modern and best equipped.” Seven teachers greeted 245 students that day under the direction of principal…

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December 1: 1941: Former Duluth police chief killed in gun battle

On this day in Duluth in 1941, Lieutenant Oscar G. Olson of the Duluth Police Department was shot and killed during a gun battle with John Handris, who may have been experiencing a psychotic episode. Olson, along with sergeants Robert Johnson and Walter C. Johnston, had been summoned to a house at 2212 West First…

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