Archive Dive: “Prohibition, Depression, and War (1920–1955)”

Workers clear land for Lester Park Golf Course, 1931, as part of Duluth’s plan to put the unemployed to work during the Great Depression. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)

This week’s archive dive presents the fourth chapter of Zenith City Press publisher Tony Dierckins’s Duluth: An Urban Biography, winner of the 2020/2021 Northeast Minnesota Book Award. Titled “Prohibition, Depression, and War (1920–1955),” the excerpt explains how Duluth navigated Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the brief boom that followed the conflagration before post-war decline set in. This passage includes some eye-opening information about members of the Duluth branch of the Ku Klux Klan. Click the links below to read all three sections of chapter 4 from Duluth: An Urban Biography.

Prohibition & an Ugly Influence (1918–1933)

Battling Depression (1930–1940)

War & Post-War Boom (1940–1955)