Prohibition in the Midway, African American History and Utopia in Carver County are Topics of February Lectures

For immediate release

Release dated: 
January 8, 2014
Media contacts: 

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

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

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

Prohibition in the Midway, African American History and Utopia in Carver County are Topics of February Lectures

History fans have lots to choose from with lectures presented by the Minnesota History Center this February. Topics range from the history of St. Paul's Midway neighborhood during Prohibition to the northern migration of more than 6 million African Americans during the Progressive era to the planning of an experimental community in Carver county in the 1970s.

Programs are held at the Minnesota History Center unless otherwise noted.

History of Hip: DUIs, Bootlegging and Murder in Midway
LOCATION: The Turf Club, 1601 University Avenue, St. Paul
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
7:30 to 9 p.m.
$10/$8 MNHS members. For ages 21+
Reservations: recommended, call 651-259-3015 or register online

Lexington and University 1925 Midway’s strategic location, industries and community have contributed to its unique history. Annexed by the City of Saint Paul as a dry community, from the outset its residents and businesses struggled with illicit activity, bootlegging and even murder, a gangland hit at the corner of Snelling and University in 1932. Historian and author Brian McMahon shares his own research about this neighborhood during Prohibition and today. Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo of Bang Brewing will discuss their new Midway brewery, share samples and comment on commerce and drinking in the neighborhood today.

The Lounge at the historic Turf Club is only accessible by stairs. Please call 651-259-3015 for alternate accommodations. This is a 21 plus event.

History Forum: Journey to the Promised Land - The Great Migration
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
$15/$11 MNHS members.
Reservations: recommended, call 651-259-3015 or register online

History ForumJoin Annette Atkins, professor of history at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, for a lecture on Minnesota's role in shaping the Progressive era.

When the United States entered World War I, it was relying on Minnesota to provide wheat to feed the troops and iron ore for use in military equipment and weapons. The state had one of the largest foreign-born populations in the nation, and was home to active labor unions and farm cooperatives. Fearing that immigrants and political agitators might interfere with the state’s duty to the nation, politicians and business leaders created the Commission of Public Safety (C.P.S.), which authorized Minnesotans to root out "the enemy among us." Ordinary citizens tarred and feathered neighbors, hung effigies of prominent figures on light posts, hounded union members and reported on each other to "loyalty committees." What impact did the Commission of Public Safety have on a state renowned as progressive?
This program is made possible with support from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, voted into law by the people of Minnesota in 2008.

African Americans in Ports and Waterways
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014
11:30 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Historical Society team up to present a program for Black History Month, focusing on African Americans in transportation. This lecture will present the history of Black voyagers and sailors who explored the Great Lakes and Northern Territories.

History Lounge: Jonathan, Planned City of Tomorrow
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
7 p.m.

JonathanJoin historian Thomas Saylor for a look at the short lived town of Jonathan, an experimental community created in 1970 by Minneapolis businessman, conservationist and state senator Henry McKnight.

Located in rural Carver County, the community was to be built to reflect America’s rising environmental awareness and solve the problems of urban blight--pollution, crime, high prices, sprawl and over-crowding. But just ten years later the town was in foreclosure.

This event is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

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 Minnesota Historical Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Minnesota Historical 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.