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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,”.

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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October 11, 1867: Birth of Duluth Mayor William Prince

On this day in 1867, future Duluth mayor William Prince was born in Camden Ohio. The first mayor of the city under the commission form of government, Prince attended Oberlin College and found work there, first in the post office and later at the Citizens National Bank before striking out for Escanaba, Michigan, to work…

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October 9, 1906: Vessel loaded in Duluth breaks cargo record

On this day in Duluth in 1906, the steamer B. F. Jones loaded 370,273 bushels of durham wheat from several different Duluth grain elevators—the “largest cargo of wheat that was ever carried on the great lakes and…doubtless the largest cargo of wheat ever floated in the world.” The cargo was shipped by Duluth’s Ames-Brooks company,…

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October 6, 1892: First trip on the DM&N Railroad

On this day in Duluth in 1892, the first train to drive the Duluth, Missabe, and Northern Railroad—the very first first railway leading to the newly opened Missabe Iron Range—left the Duluth Union Depot and headed for the mines first opened by the Merritt family of West Duluth, pioneers of Oneota Township. Newspaper reports of…

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October 5, 1949: Last trolley from Forbay to Fond du Lac

On this day in 1949, the trolley from Forbay to Fond du Lac made its final trip. Where the heck is Forbay, you ask? Forbay was a community located at the southernmost point of Thomson Township established by the Great Northern Power Company, predecessor to Minnesota Power, in 1905 for its hydro station workers and…

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October 4, 1864: Albert Woolson enlists in the Union Army

On this day in 1864, future Duluth resident and the last surviving member of the Union Army, Albert Woolson, enlisted as a musician for one year’s service in the 1st Regiment Minnesota Heavy Artillery at Janeseville, Minnesota, near Mankato. He was assigned to Company C of the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery Regiment, detailed to the…

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October 3, 1938: Pranksters blow off Central High cannon

On this day in Duluth in 1938, pranksters set off the cannon that was on display in front of Duluth’s historic Central High School. The cannon was a relic of the Spanish-American War, a Spanish artillery piece taken from the Spanish cruiser Oquend and sent to Duluth in 1899. Its barrel had been filled with…

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