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,”.

October 21, 1932: Death of Duluth architect Oliver Traphagen

On this day in 1932, former Duluth resident—and arguably its premier architect from 1886 to 1896—Oliver Green Traphagen died in Alameda, California, where he was living in retirement. Traphagen was born in Tarryton, New York, in 1854 and began his career in Minnesota in the 1870s, when he moved to St. Paul and found work…

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October 17, 2011: Norwegian royalty rededicates Duluth’s Enger Tower

On this day in Duluth in 2011, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway rededicated Duluth’s Enger Memorial Tower. The tower, built to memorialize West End furniture dealer Bert Enger, who contributed greatly to Duluth’s park system, was first dedicated in 1939 by Harald’s parents, Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha. In anticipation of…

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October 15, 1921: Dedication of Duluth’s Jay Cooke statue

On this day in Duluth in 1921, a statue of Jay Cooke—the man who had “resurrected the lifeless corpse of Duluth” in the late 1860s—was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of Cooke’s birth. The statue was the idea and gift of J. Horace Harding—Cooke’s business associate, son-in-law, and the executor of his will—who first suggested…

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October 13, 1877: Chester Congdon becomes an attorney

On this day in 1877, future Duluth attorney Chester Adgate Congdon was admitted to the bar of the state of New York, which allowed him to practice law in the state. Congdon graduated Syracuse University in 1875, as did Clara Hesperia Bannister, whom he would marry in 1881. He had returned New York to take…

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October 12, 1962: Duluth celebrates “Robert Gilruth Day”

This day in Duluth in 1962 was declared “Robert Gilruth Day” to honor its native son, who had become a pioneer in manned space flight. According to biographer David Ouse, In 1936 Gilruth went to work as a flight research engineer for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor of NASA. When NASA was…

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