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,”.

November 20, 1916: A. T. Fox has his last laugh

On this day in Duluth in 1916, sixty-year-old A. T. Fox finally made good on a threat he had making for years. Fox was a resident of Maple, Wisconsin, who had worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad for over thirty years, 26 of them as conductor on the run between Duluth and Ashland. He visited…

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November 19, 1886: Sinking of the Wallace and the…Wallace

On this day on Lake Superior in 1886, the steam barge Robert Wallace—as well as her consort, the schooner barge David Wallace—sank after over a day of being pounded by waves and running ashore at Chocolay, four miles east of Marquette on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, on November 18. They had been taking a combined 104,000…

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November 18, 1900: Superior’s blue laws take Effect

On this day across the bay in 1900, Superior, Wisconsin, put in place so-called “blue laws” restricting certain activities on the Christian sabbath. Streetcars could run and milk deliveries would continue and even restaurants could stay open. But newspapers had to be sold on the street—no news stands could open. Cigars could only be sold…

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November 17, 1966: Lift Bridge lit for first time

On this day in Duluth in 1966, during a gala celebration, state representative John A. Blatnik threw the switch to light the Aerial Lift Bridge for the first time. The city’s Project Duluth Committee, chaired by John Grinden, led the effort to light the bridge. “The Aerial Lift Bridge is the symbol of Duluth,” Grinden…

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November 16, 1872: “Most Terrible Storm Ever” on Lake Superior

On this day in Duluth in 1872, the Zenith City experienced what Minnesotian editor Dr. Thomas Foster described as “The Storm King: The Most Terrible Storm Ever Known on Lake Superior.” Waves reportedly rolled “over Minnesota Point,” and two vessels were wrecked, the propellor St. Paul and the schooner Alice Craig. The outer breakwater, built…

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November 15, 1855: Birth of Francis E. House

On this day in 1855, future Duluthian Francis E. House was born in upstate New York in Houseville—a town named for his family. His father, Henry, became wealthy working in the insurance and banking industries, giving Francis—the oldest of four boys—a financial and educational head start. Francis would eventually study engineering and chemistry at the…

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November 14, 1901: Mayor Hugo says he won’t run for re-election

On this day in Duluth in 1901, Mayor Trevanion Hugo, a Republican, said he would not run for reelection in December. (Back then, the mayor’s office was held for terms of two years; primary elections were held in December and elections were held the following February; the winner took office in March.) He had defeated…

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November 13, 1984: Death of Duluthian Dorothy Arnold

In this day in 1984, Duluthian Dorothy Arnold died in a cancer clinic in Ensenada, Mexico. She was born Dorothy Arnoldine Olson on November 21, 1917, in Duluth. Dorothy began performing at age twelve. She sang with the Salvation Army, in children’s programs, and at parties. She attended Denfeld High School graduating in 1935. After…

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