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An 1869 letter from St. Anthony: "The climate is the principle boast of Minnesota"

An 1869 letter from St. Anthony: “The climate is the principle boast of Minnesota”

Here is an old letter posted from the former city of St. Anthony, MN from 1869. I’ve had it for some years, but didn’t get around to reading it until this weekend, when I was laid up with a cold and was looking for something passive to do. St. Anthony was across the Mississippi River...
Chmielewski's Funtime Campaign Lit

Chmielewski’s Funtime Campaign Lit

To generations of polka lovers in the Upper Midwest, the name Chmielewski (shiml-LESS-key) is writ upon the firmament. The Chmielewski Funtime Band, a multi-generational group of family members have been playing polkas in church yards, taverns and VFW clubs since 1882. At one time, their weekly polka show was broadcast “throughout the U.S. and Canada.”...
A (small) treasury of campaign lit and ephemera

A (small) treasury of campaign lit and ephemera

Lit Happens has a tidy collection of political lit that we scan from time to time and post for the benefit of you, the lonely web surfer. Have an interesting or funny campaign piece to share with the world? Scan it, and drop us a line at info(at)lithappens(dot)com. We’ll likely post it!
The 1934 Farmer-Labor platform - with cartoons!

The 1934 Farmer-Labor platform – with cartoons!

1. Unemployment 2. Education 3. Forest Fires

1. Unemployment 2. Education 3. Forest Fires

I need to do some digging on this one, my guess is that it’s from 1936. There were some horrendous fires on the range that year, and the Benson Amlie Youth Act was a measure of US Senator Elmer Benson and  Wisconsin Congressman Thomas Amlie to replace the National Youth Administration with a more robust...
That time Tony Sutton ran for the legislature

That time Tony Sutton ran for the legislature

“A Man For Our Future.” Nuf Sed.
Updated: That time Karen Clark ran for the state senate

Updated: That time Karen Clark ran for the state senate

(UPDATED) Check out the note I received from someone involved in the race with important corrections! Before she became one of the most tenured members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Karen Clark started out running for a vacant Senate seat. The incumbent, State Senator Steve Keefe, declined to run for reelection in 1980 in...
"...and they call us Communists..."

“…and they call us Communists…”

One of the cardinal rules of responding to a negative message is to never repeat the charge – it only gives the bad thing greater exposure. Obviously, Governor Floyd B. Olson didn’t care in this 1934 reelection folder, where his campaign compared Olson’s “creed” with…communism. In contrast, he comes out well!
Take The Helm-Political Action at Sea

Take The Helm-Political Action at Sea

The basics of grassroots organizing have been around for a looooong time, as this 1944 booklet on political action from the Maritime Union demonstrates.
Grassroots Lobbying in 1937.

Grassroots Lobbying in 1937.

A six page mailer from the People’s Lobby for Progressive Legislation in late 1936 or early 1937. The “People’s Lobby” made quite a splash at the legislature that year. There are a number of photos online at the Minnesota Historical Society, including a nice one of a young Archie Baumann – who grew up to...
Meet Bob Short

Meet Bob Short

I don’t know the story behind this one, I’m guessing it’s a bio piece aimed at DFL caucus and convention goers in the tumultuous 1966 DFL race for Governor. That year, Governor Karl Rolvaag was challenged by the Lieutenant Governor A.M. (Sandy) Keith for the DFL nomination. Short was Rolvaag’s choice to replace Keith. Rolvaag...
Smear Sheets of the Past: Harold Stassen's mansion

Smear Sheets of the Past: Harold Stassen’s mansion

"This is the Mansion Owned by Young Governor Stassen"