February 2020 Events, Programs & Exhibits

For immediate release

Release dated: 
December 11, 2019
Media contacts: 

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

February 2020 Events, Programs & Exhibits

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Winter on the Hill
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Celebrate winter in Minnesota with tours, displays, and more focused on this season in the North Star State. Every half hour, house tours will focus on the Hill family's involvement with the St. Paul Winter Carnival and how they and other St. Paul residents survived, and even celebrated, Minnesota's most famous season. Plus, see special displays of St. Paul Winter Carnival memorabilia, Great Northern Railway Winter Carnival uniforms, snowshoes, a luxurious wolverine carriage blanket, and more. Guests can also put together old-fashioned jigsaw puzzles and play games made from household items.
Feb 1-2, 2020, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sunday
Included with $6-10 site admission/MNHS members free

Sunday, February 2, 2020

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.
Sun., Feb 2, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%, includes museum admission
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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Spark! Tours for People with Memory Loss: The Servant's Life
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., Feb 4, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Free, reservation required
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First Tuesdays/First Avenue: House Music Dance Night with DJ Michel.Be
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Join a unique dance party with a touch of history hosted by DJ Michel.Be. The first Tuesday of each month during the run of the exhibit First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom, celebrate with DJs, dance nights, micro shows, trivia games, and insider conversations with the musicians who played and the staff that made it all possible. Support for this program has been provided by the Marney and Conley Brooks Fund.
Tue., Feb 4, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Friday, February 7, 2020

"Daddy Long Legs" by the Minneapolis Musical Theatre
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Minneapolis Musical Theatre brings the off-Broadway musical love story "Daddy Long Legs" to the intimate setting of the James J. Hill House during the Valentine's Day season. This two-person chamber musical follows Jerusha Abbott, who has grown up in an orphanage but is sent to college by a mysterious benefactor to become a writer. Jerusha dubs her benefactor "Daddy Long Legs" after seeing his long and spidery shadow.  Along the way, she emerges as a fiercely independent, intelligent “New Woman.”  "Daddy Long Legs" features music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and was adapted for the stage by Tony-award winning director and writer John Caird. It is based on the 1912 novel by Jean Webster. “Daddy Long Legs” ran pff-Broadway in 2015-2016 and was nominated for several awards, including winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical. The Minneapolis Musical Theatre production is directed by Amanda Weis with music direction by Jean Orbison Van Heel.
Feb 7-9, 13-16, 21-23, 28-29, 2020, 7:30 pm - 9:45 pm
$36, $28 for students w/ID, seniors, and MNHS members
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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball
Snake River Fur Post
12551 Voyageur Lane Pine City, MN 55063
Enjoy an evening of early 19th-century entertainment with a lively country dance. Country dancing was a favorite diversion for the genteel classes in the early 1800s. Dance steps will be taught and called at the ball. Complimentary refreshments will be available. Period or semi-formal attire is requested. Doors open at 6:30 pm; dancing begins at 7 pm.
Sat., Feb 8, 2020, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
$25/MNHS members save 20%
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Sunday, February 9, 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.
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.
Sun., Feb 9, 23 & 29, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS member save 20%, includes museum admission
Get Tickets Online

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

World War II Round Table: Return to the Philippines - The Battle of Manila
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
James Scott, author of Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, and veterans will discuss the MacArthur pledge to return and the bloody urban fighting in Manila that resulted from the Japanese defense. 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. 
Tue., Feb 11, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Music History Trivia
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Join host Ryan Cameron of Let It Be Records and special guests from the Twin Cities music scene for Music History Trivia. Music nerds and novices looking for a challenge can team up for rounds of trivia with clues that include audio, photo, and video clips. Trivia nights will be held once a month in January, February, and March. Each night the top three teams will win prizes, such as tickets to First Avenue shows. Returning teams can compete for a grand prize. Beer, wine, and food will be available for purchase at Market House by D'Amico, including a $5 special on Surly. Support for this program is provided by the Marney and Conley Brooks Fund. This program is offered in conjunction with the exhibit First Avenue: Stories Of Minnesota's Mainroom.
Tue., Feb 11, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Friday, February 14, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: The Language of Love
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Throughout the Victorian era, suitors used love letters, floral bouquets, and small gifts to indicate an intention of marriage. In this Valentine's Day-themed tour, discover what secret messages could be conveyed by these gifts. Enjoy freshly baked Valentine's Day treats, listen to excerpts from Ramsey family love letters, and play Victorian courtship games in the parlor. This program is intended for age 18 and up.
Fri., Feb 14, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm, 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Dakota & Ojibwe Language Family Day & Lecture
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Discover the Dakota and Ojibwe languages during a family day connected to the new History Center exhibit, Our Home: Native Minnesota. At 10 am, hear a talk from Dr. Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, about his new MNHS Press book, The Language Warrior's Manifesto: How to Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter the Odds. Then from 11 am-3 pm, enjoy a variety of family-friendly language activities.
This program is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Sat., Feb 15, 2020, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Included with $6-12 site admission/MNHS members free

Capitol Civil War Tour
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155
Learn about the battle flags, art, memorials, and remembrances of Minnesota's role in the Civil War on a guided tour. Visit the Governor's Reception Room, where renowned paintings depict Minnesota regiments in battle. In the rotunda, view recently conserved battle flags, including a flagstaff that survived the Battle of Gettysburg. See statues of prominent state officers who served in the war, and hear stories about the governors who as young men participated in some of the pivotal events of the war.
Sat., Feb 15, 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%
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Sunday, February 16, 2020

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., Feb 16, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS members save 20%
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Teddy Bear Story Time
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Young visitors are invited to bring their teddy bears to the Hill House to celebrate Presidents Day and the beloved toy named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, a friend of the Hill family who they visited at the White House. A tour of the house will be combined with favorite teddy bear stories. This tour is designed for preschool through first grade children accompanied by an adult.
Tue., Feb 18, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
$6 age 2 and up/MNHS members save 20%
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History Lounge: The Japanese & Japanese American Experience During WWII Minnesota
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Join Krista Finstad Hanson, a local writer, historian and teacher, for a discussion of her research about largely untold accounts of Japanese and Japanese Americans' World War II experience in Minnesota. Learn about Minnesota's pre-war Japanese community, the Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling, and how Japanese and Japanese Americans from concentration camps were resettled in Minnesota during the war. Hanson will share stories about this community's efforts to begin their lives anew in Minnesota and about the people who helped them. This program is co-sponsored by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.
Tue., Feb 18, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 22, 2020

History Forum: The Historical Role of “Big Government” in American Life with Steve Conn
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
How has Americans' dislike of “big government” driven political movements both past and present? Explore the pivotal role government has played in our lives—and find out how, despite this history, the idea of "small government" has achieved the potency it has today with Professor Steve Conn. Steve Conn is the W.E. Smith Professor of History at Miami University and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. The History Forum series unpacks the history behind today’s headlines. Join six national scholars of American history as they explore the history that helps us understand and unravel the issues we face right now. Attend, engage, and draw your own conclusions.
Sat., Feb 22, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%
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STEM Family Day
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
History and science come together in a day of family activities focusing on the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in the past and present of the Minneapolis riverfront. Hands-on programs designed for all ages include:

  • Meet costumed history player William de la Barre, the engineer who advanced Minneapolis milling and waterpower
  • Witness a flour dust explosion and learn the science behind the Washburn A Mill explosion of 1878
  • Invent a solution to a mill problem using K'nex
  • Learn about kitchen chemistry in a Baking Lab demonstration 
  • Get your hands wet in the newly updated Water Lab and learn about mechanical waterpower and hydroelectricity
  • And more activities to come!

Sat., Feb 22, 2020, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Included with $6-12 site admission/MNHS members free

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Warrior Women" Film Screening
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
The film "Warrior Women" is the story of mothers and daughters fighting for Indigenous rights during the American Indian Movement (AIM) of the 1970s. The film unveils a female perspective on this important history and examines how political struggles can impact children. The film shares the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, an AIM leader who shaped a kindred group of activists' children (including her daughter Marcy) into the "We Will Remember" Survival School, a Native alternative to government-run education. Together, Madonna and Marcy fought for Native rights in an environment that made them more comrades than mother-daughter. Today, both women are still at the forefront of Native issues, fighting against the environmental devastation of the Dakota Access Pipeline and for Indigenous cultural values. Through a circular Indigenous style of storytelling, this film explores what it means to navigate a movement and motherhood and how activist legacies are passed down and transformed from generation to generation in the context of colonizing government that meets Native resistance with violence. Expand your visit by exploring the new exhibit Our Home: Native Minnesota before the program. Admission to the museum is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 pm.
Tue., Feb 25, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Friday, February 28, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: Victorian Secrets
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Mental illness, addiction, sexuality, and birth control were all part of Victorian life but were never spoken of in public. Discover the "secrets" of the Victorian era in this evening tour. Hear excerpts from Ramsey family letters and journals which provide glimpses into the private lives of the Ramsey family, their neighbors, and friends. Learn about the issues they faced, what cures they used, and what was really discussed behind closed doors. This program is intended for age 18 and up.
Fri., Feb 28, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm, 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
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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.


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.


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.


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.

Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis 

Closes March 29, 2020

My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story
Explore artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec that tells the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River (known as Owanmniyomni in Dakota and St. Anthony Falls in English) and the changes it has witnessed over 12,000 years. 
Making prints with materials collected along the riverbank, Schanilec creates works of art that show the progression of the waterfall over thousand of years from present-day St. Paul to its current location, 15 miles upriver in downtown Minneapolis.
The exhibit features images of Schanilec's artwork from the new MNHS Press book "My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story" by author John Coy.

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.