April 2020 Events, Programs & Exhibits

For immediate release

Release dated: 
February 12, 2020
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org
Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

April 2020 Events, Programs & Exhibits

Thursday, April 2, 2020

First Thursday Films @ North High: "Charm City" Film Screening
North Community High School
1500 James Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55411
Each month, watch a different thought-provoking film and engage in community discussion afterward around topics in history that resonate today. In April, enjoy the documentary Charm City. During three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, Charm City delivers an unexpectedly candid, observational portrait of those left at the front lines. With grit, fury, and compassion, a group of police, citizens, and government officials grapple with the consequences of violence and try to reclaim their future.
Topical and relevant in these turbulent times, First Thursday Films aims to create a space for dialogue and better understanding. Come for the movies. Stay for the conversation. 
This film series is a partnership between the Minnesota Historical Society, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, and the Capri Theater. This program is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Thu., Apr 2, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
$5
Get Tickets Online

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Conservationist Aldo Leopold Day
Forest History Center
2609 County Road 76 Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. Enjoy a day of activities and learn about the man considered by many to be the father of wildlife management. Activities will include readings from Leopold's collection of essays, Sand County Almanac; screenings of Green Fire, a documentary about his life; Dutch oven cooking; demonstrations on how to build a Leopold bench; and nature walks.
Sat., Apr 4, 2020, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Included with $6-10 site admission/MNHS members free

Strike! The Workers' Rights Tour
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Take a guided tour of the historic Washburn A Mill to discover the dramatic story of work and labor in Minneapolis from the 19th century to today. Hear how activists improved the lives of workers in the mills and related industries and how management responded by creating anti-union policies and groups like Citizens' Alliance. Explore how labor was divided across race, class, and gender lines and the role of organized labor today. Learn about the 1903 and 1917 flour milling strikes, the Truckers' Strike of 1934, and the life and career of Nellie Stone Johnson, a union organizer and the first African American elected to citywide office in Minneapolis.
This tour includes about 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
Sat., Apr 4, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%, includes museum admission
Get Tickets Online

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Easter Egg Hunt
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Celebrate spring at the James J. Hill House with an outdoor egg hunt on the lawn. Participants can search for eggs, enjoy a snack, hear stories, and explore the first floor of the elegant Gilded Age home. When the Hill children enjoyed their own egg hunt in 1898, Mrs. Hill noted in her diary: "A large gray and stray rabbit joined them most unexpectedly."
Doors open at 9:30 am; the hunt begins promptly at 10 am. This event is for children ages 2-7. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Sun., Apr 5, 2020 & Sat., Apr 11, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am &
$8/MNHS members save 20%, advanced tickets recommended
Get Tickets Online

Pillsbury A Mill Tour
A-Mill Artist Lofts
315 Main St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55414
The Pillsbury A Mill, constructed in 1881, was once the largest and most advanced flour mill in the world. Go on a guided tour of the former milling complex, including the rooftop deck and the basement waterpower facilities, and discover the story of this National Historic Landmark, now home to the A-Mill Artist Lofts.
Highlights include the largest and best-preserved waterpower system in Minneapolis, with views straight down a 50-foot drop shaft through a glass floor. Guests will discover how the building functioned during the flour milling era, see the architectural highlights of the recently completed A-Mill Artist Lofts built within the historic mill buildings, and learn about the new hydroelectric plant that helps power the complex.
This tour is presented in partnership with A-Mill Artist Lofts. The tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately paced walking indoors and outdoors with some uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
Sun., Apr 5 & 19 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Spark! Tours for People with Memory Loss: Art at the Hill House
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Take a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour highlights three rooms in the James J. Hill House.
Tours are offered the first Tuesday of each month.
Tue., Apr 7, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Free, reservation required
Get Tickets Online

Thursday, April 9, 2020

World War II Round Table: The First American Tank Battles of WWII - Defense of the Philippines
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Don Caldwell, author of Thunder on Bataan, and veterans of the Pacific War will discuss the valiant effort of National Guard 192nd and 194th Tank Battalions to hold off attacks in the Philippines. Starting at 6 pm before the program, students can participate in informal conversations with the author and veterans on the program topic.
The Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table brings together authors, historians, and WWII veterans to discuss the history of the conflict and to share the stories of those who lived through it. 
Thu., Apr 9, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Free

Friday, April 10, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: Victorian Superstitions
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Superstitions were a part of Victorian society, from wedding cakes and dating customs to death and mourning rituals. Explore the mysterious world of Victorian superstitions in this theme tour. Hear excerpts from Ramsey family letters and journals and play Victorian fortune-telling games. Discover how and why superstitions captivated Victorian society.
This program is intended for ages 18 and up.
Fri., Apr 10, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm and 8:30 pm - 9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online: 7 pm & 8:30 pm

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Washburn A Mill Tour
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Take an in-depth look at the historic Washburn A Mill complex and the award-winning Mill City Museum building. A guide will take visitors into the building's many nooks and crannies, highlighting the lives of the men and women who worked there, how the building functioned during its peak flour milling years, and the many changes to the building over time. This is the only opportunity for a guided tour through the entire museum building and the only chance to see some of its nonpublic spaces. Admission to the museum is included for the day of your tour.
Tour highlights include:

  • The dramatic story of the 1878 Washburn A Mill explosion and the other dangers that mill workers faced on a daily basis
  • "The Octopus," a large machine that directed wheat into nine storage bins
  • The Humphrey Manlift, a vertical conveyor belt that carried workers from floor to floor
  • The Rail Corridor, where hundreds of boxcars arrived each day to unload wheat and carry away flour
  • Millstone plaza, originally paved with retired millstones and the location for lunchtime concerts by the Washburn-Crosby employee band in the 1920s
  • Evidence of the three major fires that have damaged the building in 1878, 1928, and 1991
  • The East Engine House, once home to a two-story steam engine, has been remodeled into two classrooms while preserving the original railroad car pulling machinery

The tour includes no more than 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
Sat., Apr 11 &18, 2020 & Sun., Apr 26, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS member save 20%, includes museum admission the day of your tour
Get Tickets Online

Friday, April 17, 2020

Mendota After Hours: How to Get a Drink During Prohibition
Sibley Historic Site
1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy. Mendota, MN 55120
Have a drink with friends while learning about Minnesota history in the intimate setting of the Sibley Historic Site.  A new topic will be offered the second Friday of each month, May-November. In April, Markus Krueger, programming director at the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, will explore Prohibition in Minnesota. Enjoy a drink while learning about the system of blind pigs, bootleggers, rum runners, and moonshiners that kept Greater Minnesota supplied with booze during Prohibition.
Admission includes one free drink ticket and a cash bar for visitors that includes beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the presentation begins at 6 pm. Light food and a cash bar will be available. Guests ages 21 and up will receive one drink ticket with paid admission.
Fri., Apr 17, 2020, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
$20/MNHS & DCHS members
Get Tickets Online

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Capitol Builders Tour
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155
Explore locations throughout the building that show the work and methods that went into creating the Minnesota State Capitol in 1905. Get to know architect Cass Gilbert, who at age 35 created one of the most magnificent public buildings in the nation. Plus, hear about the roles contractors, politicians, and workers played during the nine-year construction period. Then explore the recent restoration completed in 2017.
Sat., Apr 18, 2020, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm & 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$10 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $8 ages 5-17, MNHS member save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Peregrine Falcons on the North Shore
Split Rock Lighthouse
3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd. Two Harbors, MN 55616
Meet Jackie Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society and two live falcons to learn more about these amazing birds. Fallon has worked on peregrine research in Minnesota for nearly 30 years and has many stories to share and information about protecting these animals.
Sat., Apr 18, 2020, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Included with $6-12 site admission/MNHS members free

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Minnesota Jazz Legends
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with some of Minnesota's most notable jazz legends, hosted by award-winning vocalist and KBEM radio host Patty Peterson in an intimate afternoon of live music and inspiring stories. Several Twin Cities jazz legends will entertain with the music that they love, and discuss how their individual journeys have become the musical history of Minnesota.
This program is presented by KBEM's Jazz88 and will be recorded for later broadcast and archived for on-demand listening at www.jazz88fm.com. This program is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Sun., Apr 19, 2020, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
$20 adults, $10 age 5-17, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Friday, April 24, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: Angels & Madams
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
In 1881, residents of St. Paul's fashionable Irvine Park neighborhood formed a committee to rid their district of vice. St. Paul's not-so-hidden red-light district was a source of concern for residents, reformers, and city officials alike. This tour uses newspaper accounts and court records to explore the secrets of the capital city. Were madams like Nina Clifford and Maggie Morse simply running businesses or, as reformers claimed, ruining lives and the soul of a city? This program is intended for ages 18 and up.
Fri., Apr 24, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm & 8:30 - 9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online: 7 pm & 8:30 pm

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Danger & Disaster at the Mill
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Flour milling was a dangerous job with lots of moving machinery, high-powered water turbines, and tall grain elevators where one wrong move could have disastrous consequences. Explore the dangers that workers faced on a guided tour of the Washburn A Mill. Learn about the deadly 1878 mill explosion that led to the rebuilding of the riverfront, see daily hazards like the "Humphrey manlift" that took the life of a millworker in 1936, and hear about the dangers of working in the related railroad and lumber industries.
This tour includes no more than 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
Sat., Apr 25, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%, includes museum admission
Get Tickets Online

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

History Lounge: Minnesota Women in WWII
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
During World War II, Minnesota women enlisted in all branches of the military and worked for the military as civilians. They labored in factories, mines, and shipyards. They were also tireless peace activists, and they worked to relocate interned Japanese American citizens and European refugees. They served as cryptologists, journalists, pilots, riveters, factory workers, nurses, entertainers, and spies.
Explore their stories and what they tell us about the changing role of women in American society with historian Virginia Wright-Peterson, author of A Woman's War, Too: Women at Work During WWII (April 2020, MNHS Press). Following the program, Wright-Peterson will sign copies of her book.
Tue., Apr 28, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Free, no ticket required

Ongoing Exhibits

Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

Closes May 3, 2020 

First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom
Since 1970, the club now known as First Avenue and 7th Street Entry has been at the heart of the Minnesota music scene. The First Avenue exhibit takes you inside the sights, sounds, and stories of this landmark venue that put Minnesota music on the map. Meet the musicians, the staff, and the regulars—and look back at how the scene has evolved over five decades. The exhibit draws from the MNHS Press book "First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom” by Chris Riemenschneider. Find out more.
This exhibit is made possible in part by our presenting sponsor, Baird. Media sponsorship provided by Star Tribune and The Current.

Closes May 3, 2020 Prince: Before the Rain
Minnesota photographer Allen Beaulieu helped shape the icon we know today as Prince. As Prince’s personal photographer and friend from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, he worked closely with the artist, helping to transform Prince from rising star to super stardom. Through it all, Beaulieu had access to the musician that few photographers have had, before or since.
Based on the new MNHS Press photography book, Prince: Before the Rain by Allen Beaulieu, visitors to this exhibit can view 50 digital prints, including the album covers of Dirty Mind, Controversy, and 1999, promotional photos of Prince and The Revolution, Morris Day and The Time, and other artists, as well as rare behind-the-scenes candids. 
Ongoing Our Home: Native Minnesota
Learn about Native communities in Minnesota, including stories of survival, resiliency, and adaptation. Native Americans—Dakota, Ojibwe, as well as people from other tribal nations—have dwelled in this area for thousands of years and still live in here today. This exhibit shares their stories, enduring presence, and deep connection to the land.
View historic and contemporary photographs, maps, and artifacts — and learn how Native people have retained cultural practices, teachings and values, and an essential connection to home.
“Our Home: Native Minnesota” is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Major support is also being provided by the Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, the George Family Foundation, the Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation, the Hardenbergh Foundation, and Lucy Rosenberry Jones and James Johnson with additional support from the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, Thomas J. Arneson, the Athwin Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, Alta Marie Oben, and the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation.

Ongoing

Then Now Wow
Designed primarily for children, visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring Minnesota’s distinctive places from the prairies and forests to the cities. Along the way, they'll meet the people who have made their homes here. Step inside a prairie sod house; board a Twin Cities streetcar; don a headlamp to venture underground in an Iron Range mine; hitch a ride on a boxcar; sit in a modern tipi; and encounter artifacts and images unique to Minnesota’s diverse people and historic events.
“Then Now Wow” is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. Find out more.

Ongoing

Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom
Explore interactive displays and innovative multimedia experiences that reveal the lives and stories of the men and women who came of age during the Depression and World War II and went on to create the postwar “boom.” The exhibition relies substantially on first-person narratives drawn from oral history interviews, published memoirs, reminiscences and letters. Find out more.

Ongoing

Weather Permitting
Minnesotans learn to cope with extreme temperatures, watch for signs of storms and generally enjoy the outdoors, whether boating on a summer’s day, skiing down a hill or snowmobiling across snowdrifts. Visit the multimedia tornado exhibit, “Get to the Basement,” named the best museum exhibit in the Twin Cities by City Pages. Find out more.

James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave., St. Paul

Closes June 21, 2020 

Art From the Edge of the Boreal Forest: Reflecting Biodiversity
The centuries-old tradition of botanical art blends scientific observation with artistic rendering. For the past 10 years, a group of traditionally trained botanical artists has explored the effects of a warming climate on the iconic boreal forest in northern Minnesota.
Working with climatologists, naturalists, and other specialists, they identified 10 Minnesota trees that are most vulnerable to climate change and depicted them through botanical art: balsam poplar, balsam fir, black spruce, white spruce, jack pine, red pine, paper birch, quaking aspen, black ash, and tamarack. 
This exhibit is on view through June 21, 2020.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia 

Closes Oct. 31, 2020

One Hundred Years of Healing: The Ojibwe Jingle Dress Dance Tradition
The global influenza epidemic that killed millions of people worldwide in 1918-19, including thousands of North American Indians and Alaska Natives, was the tragic inspiration behind a revolutionary new tradition of healing that emerged in Ojibwe communities of the United States and Canada, the jingle dress dance. Through photographs, oral tradition, and a display of jingle dresses from the MNHS collections, visitors will learn about the jingle dress dance and how its origin can be traced to the Mille Lacs Ojibwe.
The exhibit commemorates the epidemic and the 100th anniversary of the jingle dress dance. It is being developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota Department of American Studies and the Mille Lacs Ojibwe community.