The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.
"Allies Sweep Through German Lines" and "Allies will Probably Refuse Consideration of Pope's Peace Appeal" - The Duluth Herald. August 15, 1917
Of the nearly 20,000 Red Cross nurses that were sent to active duty during World War I, a majority of them served overseas. However, this particular Red Cross apron was used domestically, by Olive J. Clark of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The plain white cotton garment had long sleeves and two front hip pockets. The wearer would secure the garment by closing buttons that ran down the back of the apron, and by wearing a uniform belt at the waist.
Citation: Minnesota Historical Society Collections, 7339.6
This rectangular pin-back button was made to promote Harold Stassen's campaign for United States president, 1968.
For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this button in our collections database.
"German Air Raid on British Coast; 23 Killed, 50 Hurt" and "Talk of Peace Aids Kaiser" - Freeborn County Standard. August 13, 1917
In the wake of the recent arrest of the New Ulm Volkszeitung’s editor, Senator Knute Nelson received another letter concerning wartime press censorship. The letter arrived from Alexandria, Minnesota, where a local organization had already formed against the Park Region Echo, which members of the community believed to promote anti-war and pro-German propaganda. Constant Larson, an attorney representing the community organization, suggested that the paper be removed immediately from mail circulation, citing the paper’s violation of the Espionage Act. While he believed the editor could also be arrested under state law, Larson understood that this course of action would result in a drawn-out legal process and an uncertain jury trial, and it would be far better for the Federal Government simply to remove the Park Region Echo from circulation. In his letter, Larson noted that he had already appealed to the Commission on Public Safety, which ruled in favor of censoring the Park Region Echo, but he implored Senator Nelson to speed up the censorship process.
Aug. 10th, 1917.
Senator Knute Nelson,
As you doubtless know, from the very beginning the Park Region Echo has continually misrepresented everything the government has done to prosecute the war and lied about any one who has done anything to further the purposes of the government. We have thought to have him arrested under the state law, but that would lead to the delay and his case would come before a jury on which there would likely be some of his sympathizers, and we concluded that the most effective way to handle him would be to try to get his paper excluded from the mails. I think every issue of his papers contains stuff contrary to the espionage act recently passed. We took the matter up with the Commission of Public Safety and I had a letter from the secretary yesterday to the effect that the commission had made its recommendation to the postal authorities that the paper be kept out of the mails. I do not know, of course, what action the postal authorities will take or how soon they will act in the matter. We are anxious to have action taken just as soon as possible, and if you are in a position to urge speedy action, your assistance would be very much appreciated. If the government will not act, we will have to take steps ourselves here to put a stop to the treasonable sheet, but action by the government would be, I think, much to be preferred. The enemies of the government are very active and much trouble will result if early and firm measures are not taken to put a stop to their activities. We have begun to form a local organization to handle the situation in this country, and I think we will have no trouble in doing so, but it would be a great help to have the Echo shut out of the mails. If for no other reason than that it will show the people that the government means business. I do not care to criticise too much, but I think that if our Commissioner of Public Safety had taken proper action at the right time most of the disturbance which we have in the state would never have had a chance to start. I have sent you last issue of Echo.
With best regard,
Citation: Knute Nelson Papers. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. 114.I.13.2F Box 26
Despite the Red Cross’ international reputation and President Wilson’s endorsement, the aid organization was by no means perfect. In a letter dated August 11, 1917, a St. Paul woman describes what she views as a very serious imperfection, namely the organization’s practice of charging a five-dollar fee to all of its workers. Ms. Ludlow points out that numerous women would like to contribute their time and labor, but they cannot afford the five dollars to become a Red Cross worker. The five-dollar fee is a “petty class distinction” that actually deprives the Red Cross of additional workers. Furthermore, Ms. Ludlow notes that “the poor man’s son is required to go to war and fight in the trenches beside the rich man’s offspring.” If no class distinction exists at the front, she reasons that no equivalent distinction should exist on the home front.
RED CROSS WORK
A peculiar condition exists at Red Cross Headquarters in St. Paul. If any woman wishes to donate a portion or all of her time to Red Cross Work she is required to pay a membership fee of $5.00 for the PRIVILEGE of working. The woman who has no desire to help in Red Cross Work pays nothing and DOES NOTHING - but the woman who wants to devote some of her time to the work must pay AND work. When asked why a fee is charged for the privilege of working the reply is: "We must have funds!" Why ask the WORKERS to donate. Why not ask those who cannot or do not work to donate? There are women who cannot afford to pay who would like to do their bit, but they are denied the privilege because they cannot do both. It has been said that the fee is demanded because there is a certain "class distinction" in Red Cross work. However - the poor man's son in [sic] required to go to war an fight in the trenches beside the rich man's offspring. Why should this poor boy's mother or sister be denied the privilege of doing their bit because they cannot pay a membership fee in the Red Cross organization. If the desire is to make it a rich woman's organization - make the membership fee five hundred dollars instead of five. This is a time when men and women alike regardless of "class distinction" should put their shoulders to the wheel and DO THINGS. This petty class distinction will not win the war - neither does it do St. Paul any good. This is the only city in the United States that I know of where this condition prevails.
91 E. 6th St. St. Paul
This photograph shows Bob Hope getting mobbed during a visit to the 1949 Minneapolis Aquatennial.
This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid.
For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.
"German Alien Editor Says Arrest Mistake..." and "I.W.W. Return and are Quickly Sent Out..." - The Bemidji Daily Pioneer. August 10, 1917
This Ojibwe bandolier bag is made of black cotton velvet decorated in floral motifs employing glass seed beads in the spot stitch appliqué technique on the strap and the area above the pocket. The pocket panel features floral motifs worked in quill on birchbark that is attached to the velvet. Made by Melvin Losh, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in the 1980s.
For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this bag in our collections database.