November Lectures at the History Center Focus on the Conservation Giants and Public Enemies Era

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 16, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 •

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Wendy Jones • Minnesota History Center • 651-259-3411 •

Quick facts: 

Place: Minnesota History Center
Address: 345 Kellogg Blvd W., St. Paul MN 55102-1903
Phone: 651-259-3000, 800-657-3773

November Lectures at the History Center Focus on the Conservation Giants and Public Enemies Era

Two history lectures are offered in November at the Minnesota History Center. The History Forum is an annual lecture series featuring some of the nation's foremost historians, while the History Lounge offers a more informal lecture setting.

History Forum: Clash of the Conservation Giants
Dates: Nov. 16, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
: $15/$11 MHS members.

Join Char Miller, professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College, as he explores the modern conservation and environmentalist movements of the early 20th century.

Coservation Giants
(Photo courtesy: Michael Schweppe)

Gifford Pinchot, influential conservationist, Progressive politician and first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, believed that America’s vast forests should be managed for "..the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run." When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake exposed the dangers of California’s chronic water shortages, officials proposed building a dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley forest and routing water from Yosemite National Park to the cities. The proposal set off a seven-year struggle that pitted the pragmatic Pinchot against his idealistic friend and mentor, John Muir and his Sierra Club and marked the battle lines for the modern conservation and environmentalist movements.

This program is made possible with support from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, voted into law by the people of Minnesota in 2008. For more information visit

History Lounge: Big Tom Brown and the Barker Gang
Dates: Nov. 19, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Tom Brown

Among the most dangerous criminals of the public enemies era was a man who has long hidden in history’s shadows: Tom Brown. In the early 1930s, while he was police chief of St. Paul, Brown became a secret partner of the infamous Barker gang. He profited from their violent crimes, he protected the gang from raids by the nascent FBI—and while he did all this, the gangsters gunned down cops and citizens in his hometown.

Join Tim Mahoney, author of "Secret Partners: Big Tom Brown and the Barker Gang" (MHS Press, Fall 2013) as he reveals how Brown became an insider who kept the criminals safe, but for highly political reasons, was never convicted of his crimes. Copies of "Secret Partners" will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the program.

Tim Mahoney, an editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, formerly worked at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Wisconsin State Journal and has also taught journalism and English. He is the author of two novels. For more information visit

About the Minnesota History Center

The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.