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.
Red Cross nurse Marion Backus sent this undated letter from France to her mother. She mentions that she has been "in on the three big drives so far this year" and that she thinks she will be on another in the future. Because of this, Backus writes about being kept busy with a high amount of patients. Based on her letters, she seems to be enjoying her work and the thrill of being close to the action.
I just got your last three letters today you forgot to put the number of the hospital on some of them so they took longer to come the latest was written Aug 21. […] I think I will be in Paris next week for a few days to get my winter clothes. I am still on night duty but like it as well as ever in the fact four weeks we have handled something 2,500 patients gas and surgical so have kept fairly buisy (sic) you see we have a personal of about 200 we have 470 beds of course a good many of them did not stay longer than one night and then were shipped on to the base. I think I have been real fortunate for I have been in on the three big drives so far this year and if there is another think I will be there. […] I am in what is called the war zone and we are not supposed to mention names of places up here.[…]
Lots of love to you and daddy
Citation: Marion Backus Papers. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. P1356
"The English Take Mount Kemmel; Peronne is Surrounded by Allies" and "The English Make Good Progress on the Entire Flanders Line" - The Daily People's Press. September 1, 1918
"Call for Liberty Meeting Urges National Equal Rights" and "Home Guards to Uniform" - The Twin City Star. August 31, 1918
"Clemenceau Visits Yanks in Battle of Chateau Thierry" and "Two Colored Draftees Ordered to Report: More Go Next Week" - Bemidji Daily Pioneer. August 30, 1918
This photo from 1924 shows people enjoying the milk stand at the State Fair. The fashion and idea of milk as food makes this photo especially fun! Welcome to Fair Food week!
See it in Collections Online.