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1970s – the Do Something Decade?

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Oh, the 1970s…they were quite a time. There has been renewed interest in this period lately, both scholarly and in popular culture. From the movie Argo to the book being published this fall by MHS Press, people have started taking a closer look at this often neglected time that shaped many of us. Today, however, we are taking the popular culture angle. These two pieces were added to the collection here just last week, and I thought you should see them.

Windom is a town of about 4,500 people in the southwestern part of the state. This program is from the beauty pageant held there, leading up to the Miss America pageant.

Were the 70s really the “Do Something” decade?

To balance out the beauty, I submit this:

This is a copy of Charlie Brown and Snoopy in German, published in 1971. The popularity of Peanuts knows no bounds, nor national borders apparently.

Both of these items will be cataloged and available in the Library for a closer look.

Lori Williamson
Acquisitions & Outreach Coordinator

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Marriage equality poster

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Marriage equality poster

Serigraph (screen print) on paper made by Spunk Design Machine in 2012. The poster, included in the Poster Offensive 6 exhibit presented at Big Table Studio in St. Paul, depicts Paul Bunyan and the Jolly Green Giant as romantic partners. It also references the proposed 2012 amendment to the Minnesota state constitution that would have defined marriage as being “solely between one man and one woman.” The amendment was defeated by 52.56% of voters in the election held on November 6, 2012.

For details, view the poster in our online collections database.

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Diary entry by Matthew Marvin – January 31, 1863

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Diary entry by Matthew Marvin of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, written from the 1st Minnesota’s camp at Stafford Hills near Falmouth, Virginia.  Earlier in the week Marvin writes that he “Was releaved from picket by the 15th Mass[.] on the road home I saw 3 or 4 small Birds that appeard to appreciate the spring like weather[.] arrived in camp bout noon[.] Mad[e] out an Estimate for clothing[.] had the Pay rolls signed for our pay[.] Their appers to be some reluctance in camp about signing the Roll for 2 months when their is 5 due[.] they want 4 or nothing[.]” He also notes that Joseph Hooker is in command of the army and receives a payment of $120, delivered by Major King.

On Saturday the 31st Marvin writes:

There is nothing astir in camp to day[.] Weather pleasant[.]


See preceding days of Marvin’s diary: 1863-01-31_Marvin_combined

Citation:  January 26-31, 1863 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary notes and memos. Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 1]

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Hmong earrings

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Hmong earrings

Pair of fine silver (>92.5% silver content) slip-on earrings made in a traditional Hmong style. The U-shaped loops curve under the wearer’s earlobes, ending in spirals behind the ears; the front sides of the earrings are decorated with silver cones with beading on their bases. Free-sliding rings on the U-shaped loops hold seven pendants of spiral wire each ending in two flat arrowhead shapes. The earrings were made in refugee camps in Thailand by a Hmong refugee and relative of May Yang. Yang brought the earrings to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1981.

For details, view the earrings in our online collections database.

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“The Negro as Soldier,” and “Our Army Correspondence: The Abortive Movement Against Vicksburg,” St. Paul Pioneer and Democrat – January 30, 1863

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

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1944 State Fair

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

1944 State Fair

A daredevil jumps his car over a bus during a program in the grandstand at the Minnesota State Fair. Captured by a Minneapolis newspaper photographer on August 27, 1944.

For details, view the photograph in our online collections database.

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Letters to Governor Ramsey from C.W. Griggs and from G. Merrill Dwelle to his sister – January 29, 1863

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Letter to Governor Ramsey from Colonel C.W. Griggs of the 3rd Minnesota Regiment requesting reassignment for the regiment out of Cairo, Illinois.

Hd Qr 3rd Regt. Minn. Vol.
Cairo Ill. Jan 29th 1863
His Exley. Alex Ramsey
Gov. of the State of Minn.
D-Sir
My command reached this place on the night 26th inst. in good condition, and are now quartered in poor barracks, doing guard and police duty—have been furnished with one hundred second handed Austrian Rifles, by order Gen. Tuttle for guard purposes, as no arms have been sent to this point for us, although the ordnance officer, has some 1500 first class arms on hand, subject to Gen. Grants chief of ordnance orders[.]
The Gen commanding department does not know where we are going, when armed and equipped.
I have telegraphed Hon. H.M. Rice to learn if we were to have first class arms, also asking him to use his influence to have us sent to Rosecrans department, if we were not destined for Vicksburg, and have not received an answer.         I am sorry to trouble you any more on our account, but it is necessary for the interests of the Regt., that we should be immediately armed and sent where can have active service.—If we remain here long, (in this God forsaken hole) undoubtedly one half of our men would be in the hospital and large portion of the balance would desert—the example set by the 128th Ill., which has been stationed here since enlisted were as follows on 26th to wit; twenty four for duty and nearly four hundred absent with-out leave.           Now Gov. under these circumstances we need more of your assistance and if you will telegraph to the Cong. delegation to use their influence in our behalf and also to the Sec. of War, that we be furnished with first class arms and be sent where we can have an opportunity to use them I have no doubt but both would be complied with. our strength at present 323 men and 34 officers for duty. Lt. Taylor will bring at least fifty more hoping you will intercede and that justice will be done us[.]
I remain Gov.
Your Most Obt. Servt. C.W. Griggs
Col. 3rd Minn.


Excerpt of a letter from G. Merrill Dwelle of Lake City, Minnesota, to his sister, Carrie. Dwelle, of the 2nd U. S. Sharpshooters (attached to the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment as Company L), was wounded in the right hip at Antietam, taken prisoner, paroled and sent to a hospital in Maryland, where he would remain for nearly six months before returning to Minnesota to take a position as Second Lieutenant with the 3rd Battery, Minnesota Light artillery in March, 1863.

U.S. Hospital Camp “A”
Near Frederick Maryland
Thursday Jan 29th 1863
Sister Carrie
[…]
How our present troubles will terminate is beyond the conjecture of human reason—I believe it would puzzle either Prophet or Seer. There seems to be more traitors north than south[.] Gloomy indeed must be the days and nights of the President. Were I him I would put on Dictatorial powers and the first man that expressed rebellious sympathies I would impress into the army and let them experience a little of the beauties of the doctrin they are so free to to preach. He has been too easy with traitors. A simple arrest and final release is no punishment. It only makes martyrs of them to be worshiped by their friends when they are released[,] when if they were compelled to receive some punishment they would find what a nice thing it is to sleep in the bed of their own making[.] It would either make union men of them or shut their mouths so they would harp no more about the horrors of this war[.]
The war is horrible enough but the soldiers and those that live along the rout experience the worst of it. People at a distance are occasionally reminded of its existence by the death of a friend for whom they mourn for a few days and then forget them[,] but more than that it is but food for their minds in idle moments. I remember before I enlisted how I used to read of battles and skirmishes at different places with as much indifference as I would of the prices current and pass it by as the general news of the day. I did not trouble myself about the headless trunks, broken arms and legs, ghostly wounds, mangled body’s, wreathing in their own blood, and dead that are there. I read as victory or defeat as gain or loss. But the sharp shriek or hoarse moan or even the sight of on that is hit as he clasps his hand to his forehead and falls back to rise no more convinced one of the reality.
[…]
Remember me to all[.] I remain your B
Merrill

*See full transcription for more

See whole scan of letter: 1863-01-29_Dwell_all

See whole transcription: 1863-01-29_Dwelle_full-transcription

Citations:
January 29, 1863, Letter from C.W. Griggs, Letters Received—3rd Regiment. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society. [111.E.20.4F]

January 29, 1863, Letter from G. Merrill Dwelle to Carrie, Correspondence, 1863. G. Merrill Dwelle papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [A/ .D989]

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First Minnesota officer’s splint

Monday, January 28th, 2013

First Minnesota officer's splint

Splint made of six pieces of wood nailed together. The splint was used to support the injured leg of Colonel William Colvill at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, during the Civil War. Colvill became the fifth and final colonel of the  First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment on May 6, 1863 and was wounded several times, three times at Gettysburg, which left him partially crippled for the rest of his life.

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“Sick Soldiers in Minnesota,” “State News Items,” “The National Debt,” and “What Jeff. Davis Expects of the South,” Rochester Republican – January 28, 1863

Monday, January 28th, 2013


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Letter to Ramsey from C.C. Andrews and a diary entry by Myron Shepard – January 27, 1863

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Letter to Governor Ramsey from Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Columbus Andrews of the 3rd Minnesota Regiment describing the regiment’s arrival at Cairo, Illinois, and requesting that the regiment be reassigned, away from the “miserable filthy hole” of Cairo.

(Private)
Cairo Ill. Tues. evening
Jan. 27. 1863.
Dear Governor:
The regiment arrived here at eleven last night and remained in the cars till this morning. We left Chicago Sunday evening at eight o’clock. The Central Co. ought to have got us in here before dark yesterday as they promised when we left Chicago. Considering bad crossing of Mississippi at LaCrosse our trip from Winona, which we left Friday morning, has been safe and expeditious.
We find no special orders for us. Gen. Tuttle in command here, only has power to send us as far as Memphis. Even this he does not propose to do immediately, but as I understand him, until some other troops come to relieve us. The 128th Ill. and two companies of 35th Iowa have been here some time. The 128th Ill. moves to Mound City. It is reduced to nothing scarcely by sickness deaths, and desertions, though one of the new regiments, and goes to Mound City to recuperate. It has been doing Port guard service here, and considering what a miserable filthy hole this is I do not wonder the regiment is demoralized. And as things now look we are to relieve this regiment! It looks as if we were to be kept here an indefinite length of time to guard among other things saloons in this mud hole. We have today gone into the disease breeding quarters which the 128th Ill. vacate; and tomorrow are to receive 100 stand of arms and commence guard service with. Just think of the demoralizing effect of this if it should be permitted to continue, when we are needed in the field and are extremely anxious to get there to be kept back in such a place as this doing guard service? I should suppose the two companies of 35th Iowa were enough for that duty. The protection of the town of course depends on the gun boats; and from the numbers of naval officers about I should think that force here was sufficient.
There are some Enfield rifles here, and more are consigned to the ordnance officer here; but he cannot supply us without authority from the ordnance officer with Gen. Grant. There are no accoutrements here and they must be sent for from St. Louis. Considering that our friends (?) in Washington have been informed of our wants and interests, and that they have been [entreated] to have us supplied with first class arms and sent under Gen. Rose[n]crans—and weeks ago too, it is strange nothing has been done for us, and that we are permitted to be stopped here to wait for accoutrements and to do unimportant guard duty—at a time too when eventful battles are expected. We feel great indignation at this state of things. It is monstrous to keep such a regiment as ours back a day. You know we have done a good deal of work to get the regiment together; and now to see it disgraced and demoralized by detention here is beyond our patience[.]
I hope you will immediately stir up the authorities in Washington. Have  us immediately supplied with the best arms and sent under Gen. Rose[n]crans or to Vicksburg. Then if at such a time as this the country can afford to retain a regiment like ours in unimportant service in Cairo let the responsibility fall where it belongs. I feel sure however the Sec’y of War or Gen. Halleck either will order us on on knowing the facts.
Yours truly
C.C. Andrews
Lt Col. 3d Minn.
His Exy
Alex. Ramsey

See whole letter: 1863-01-27_Ramsey_combined

Diary entry by Myron Shepard of the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment, who enlisted in 1861 as a private in Company B. He would be promoted to sergeant, first lieutenant and second lieutenant with various companies in the 1st Minnesota by the war’s end.

On Tuesday January 27th, Shepard writes:
Rains most all day slowly. I get another letter from Ella announcing the death of Lewis. I was writing him at the time, But I destroyed that letter and answered Ella’s instead of it. Oh this is too hard! The choicest spirits of our land are sacrificed as victims of this miserable war. Death’s doings are relentless and come in peace as well as war. He would have chosen to die at Antietam[.]
A very dark day!

Citations:
January 27, 1863, Letter from C.C. Andrews, Letters Received—3rd Regiment. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society. [111.E.20.4F]

January 27, 1863 Diary entry by Myron Shepard, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1863 Diary. Myron Shepard Diaries, 1862-1864. Minnesota Historical Society. [P231]

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs