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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,”.

August 5, 1826: 1826 Treaty of Fond du Lac ratified

On this day in Fond du Lac in 1826, John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company post at Fond du Lac was the site of a treaty signing. Michigan’s territorial governor William Cass and Colonel Thomas L. McKenney, the head of the newly formed U.S. Indian Department (which would later become the Bureau of Indian Affairs),…

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August 4, 1965: Duluth Zoo names new director, ending controversy

On this day in Duluth in 1965, the Duluth Zoo officially named Robert Wahlsten its new director, ending a six-month controversy over who should run the zoo. Joseph Mayo had been the acting head of the zoo since the retirement of Lloyd Hackl. Wahlsten had worked as a caretaker at the zoo since 1950—but Mayo…

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August 3, 1929: Skyline Parkway Officially Opens

On this day in Duluth in 1929, Duluthians and state dignitaries celebrated the “completion” of the Boulevard, recently renamed Skyline Parkway. (The road’s completion was also celebrated in 1891.) The original Boulevard was designed to stretch between Lincoln Park along Miller Creek to Chester Park along Chester Creek, but over the years the project was…

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August 1, 1870: Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad completed

On this day in 1870 in Thomson, Minnesota, at eleven minutes past 8 p.m., the last spike was driven into the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. Hundreds of laborers on hand for the event broke into cheers—they had been working double shifts to meet the August 1 deadline. At 11:30 that same evening, the first…

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July 31, 1869: Local newspaper not happy about Philadelphians in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1869, Dr. Thomas Foster—editor of the Duluth Minnesotian—bemoaned the fact that hundreds of young men from Philadelphia had flocked to Duluth for work and instead caused more trouble than they were worth. The Philadelphians’ presence in Duluth was a direct result of Duluth’s reliance on Jay Cooke. The Philadelphia…

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July 29, 1968: Duluth UFO researcher testifies before congress

On this day in 1968, native Duluthian and Unidentified Flying Object researcher James E. McDonald testified before Congress along with four other men. McDonald along with prominent scientists Carl Sagan, J. Allen Hynek, Robert L. Hall, James A. Harder, and Robert M. L. Baker Jr. testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Astronautics…

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July 28, 1910: Temperance leader Carrie Nation speaks in Lincoln Park

On this day in Duluth in 1910, “saloon buster” Carrie Nation spoke to Duluthians from the pavilion in Lincoln Park at an event sponsored by local temperance groups; another talk was scheduled that day in Lakeside. Nation—often pictured holding a hatchet she famously used to literally bust up saloons—entitled her talk, “How She Smashed, Why…

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July 27, 1922: Duluth’s Walter Hoover returns a conquering hero

On this day in Duluth in 1922, Duluth’s Walter Hoover returned to his home town as an international sporting hero—on film, anyway. The Garrick Theatre showed moving pictures of Hoover as he became the world champion rower by taking the Diamond Challenge Sculls at the annual Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames at Henley-on-Thames, England. The…

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