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Borlaug Receives Nobel Prize

Norman Borlaug. Life Magazine.

December 10, 1970
Norman Borlaug, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, wins the Nobel Peace Prize. A leader in the fight against world hunger, Borlaug has developed a new high-yield, disease-resistant strain of wheat that greatly improves the crops of poorer countries.*

Norman Ernest Borlaug was born March 25, 1914 in northeast Iowa to father Henry and mother Clara (Vaala) Borlaug. Howard County and the nearby town of Saude were comprised of mostly Norwegian-Americans. His family tree is typical of the area in that the Borlaug and Vaala branches both came from Norway circa 1850 and settled on a simple farm that maintained a bread and butter existence. **

His youth could be encapsulated in a few key events that seem extreme to modern ears, but suffering was not lost on his generation. As a kindergarten student, he got stranded in a winter storm and had to be rescued from a snowbank by his cousin Sina. He loves working with grandfather Nels, and becomes his “shadow”. (This same cousin, Sina, pushed his parents to educate Norm beyond the 7th grade and not keep him on the farm. “She states that Norm might not become a great scholar but he has great promise and he has grit.” He witnesses the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920, and brings food to the sick with his mother. All work on the farm is done with draft horses or human power until 1929 when they get their first tractor.**

Again, it seems Borlaug’s direction was shaped by the timely intervention of a friend; this time it was none other than star Minnesota Gopher running back George Champlin ca. 1931-34. George actually drove out to the Borlaug farm and talked him into the educational and athletic opportunity of the University of Minnesota: as a student, as a strong wrestler, and as a hopeful for the football program. In those days, when outstate tuition was $25 per quarter and rent $5/month, a student with a job could truly pay their own way. **

If we fast forward thirty five years to Dr. Borlaug’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize of 1970, we find an article, (printed entirely) that validates his choice in education and vocation.

“A central figure in the “green revolution”, Norman Ernest Borlaug (born March 25, 1914) was born on a farm near Cresco, Iowa, to Henry and Clara Borlaug. For the past twenty-seven years he has collaborated with Mexican scientists on problems of wheat improvement; for the last ten or so of those years he has also collaborated with scientists from other parts of the world, especially from India and Pakistan, in adapting the new wheats to new lands and in gaining acceptance for their production. An eclectic, pragmatic, goal-oriented scientist, he accepts and discards methods or results in a constant search for more fruitful and effective ones, while at the same time avoiding the pursuit of what he calls “academic butterflies”. A vigorous man who can perform prodigies of manual labor in the fields, he brings to his work the body and competitive spirit of the trained athlete, which indeed he was in his high school and college days.

After completing his primary and secondary education in Cresco, Borlaug enrolled in the University of Minnesota where he studied forestry. Immediately before and immediately after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1937, he worked for the U.S. Forestry Service at stations in Massachusetts and Idaho. Returning to the University of Minnesota to study plant pathology, he received the master’s degree in 1939 and the doctorate in 1942.

From 1942 to 1944, he was a microbiologist on the staff of the du Pont de Nemours Foundation where he was in charge of research on industrial and agricultural bactericides, fungicides, and preservatives.

In 1944 he accepted an appointment as geneticist and plant pathologist assigned the task of organizing and directing the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program in Mexico. This program, a joint undertaking by the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation, involved scientific research in genetics, plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, soil science, and cereal technology. Within twenty years he was spectacularly successful in finding a high-yielding short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat.

To his scientific goal he soon added that of the practical humanitarian: arranging to put the new cereal strains into extensive production in order to feed the hungry people of the world – and thus providing, as he says, “a temporary success in man’s war against hunger and deprivation,” a breathing space in which to deal with the “Population Monster” and the subsequent environmental and social ills that too often lead to conflict between men and between nations. Statistics on the vast acreage planted with the new wheat and on the revolutionary yields harvested in Mexico, India, and Pakistan are given in the presentation speech by Mrs. Lionaes and in the Nobel lecture by Dr. Borlaug. Well advanced, also, is the use of the new wheat in six Latin American countries, six in the Near and Middle East, several in Africa.

When the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations in cooperation with the Mexican government established the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), an autonomous international research training institute having an international board of trustees and staff, Dr. Borlaug was made director of its International Wheat Improvement Program. In this capacity he has been able to realize more fully a third objective, that of training young scientists in research and production methods. From his earliest days in Mexico he has, to be sure, carried on an intern program, but with the establishment of the Center, he has been able to reach out internationally. In the last seven years some 1940 young scientists from sixteen or so countries (the figures constantly move upward) have studied and worked at the Center.

Dr. Borlaug is presently participating in extensive experimentation with triticale, a man-made species of grain derived from a cross between wheat rye that shows promise of being superior to either wheat or rye in productivity and nutritional quality.

In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Borlaug has received extensive recognition from universities and organizations in six countries: Canada, India, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, the United States. In 1968 he received an especially satisfying tribute when the people of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, in whose area he did some of his first experimenting, named a street in his honor.” ***

But now we turn to give You honor, Lord of the Harvest, the Emancipator of Ecology, and the Seed of All Life! We sit humbly and wait for Your yield. You balance the cosmos better than any scale. You prompt the “instincts” of every form of creaturely life in precise time. And this astounds us further; it is not for Your benefit, (Your contentment and confidence endures forever), that all this cultivation occurs. All the growing, sowing, and reaping in this universe are to benefit we creatures!?!

Yes, You are the greatest! The King of the Universe! Yet You only ask that we bring a tithe of all You give us. (For those unfamiliar with this notion, it’s as if a stranger gave you $100, and then asked if you could pay forward or share $10 in gratitude.) I.e. Proverbs 19:17 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

But our benevolent King is even more generous than this; He loves those who give lavishly out of joy and trust. Perhaps this is the implied meaning in the story of Cain and Abel? These, the first brothers of the earth’s first family, bought the first fruits of their first harvest, or did they? Abel gave “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock”. Cain did not, but gave of his crops “in the course of time”. G-d accepted Abel’s first fruits, but rejected Cain’s. Lord, was this because Cain gave You his leftovers instead of his best? He seemed to give after he was sure he would have a surplus, and perhaps, out of duty rather than exuberant gratitude and trust of the Grower of All Things. Only You know, but again we see a hint of Your heart in Hebrews 11:4 from the pen of Paul.
“By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”

Can we move with You now, Spirit of Life, to contemplate the history of Mr. Borlaug? Let’s begin with relish, shall we? Help us remember, and commend to You, the Council of Heaven, and the ekklesia things great and small that You have done to shape Norman’s life!

We cheer his connection with his grandfather! How nurturing and honoring it is when young men are patiently listened to and taught by their male elders. We remember the input of Grandpa Nels and the impact of his teaching on young Norman. We see echoes of this in Borlaug’s joy in teaching, mentoring, and co-working with “dirty hands scientists” a.k.a. applied agricultural research and production students. ****

Applause to You, Sovereign, for the nurturing female friendship of his cousin Sina. Where would he be without her bravery that rescued him from the blizzard? Who would advocate for his intellect were it not for her recognizance of Your spark in him? Thank You that Sina truly appreciated the tenacity and grit that would propel him through future intellectual blockades as well as physical obstacles.

Again, we commend Your name and abilities to shape a life, Eternal Father! Mr. Borlaug learned how to respond to a pandemic from the example of his mother Clara. He gained a heart of compassion through caring for the sick who could not even feed themselves! What nurse is better than the neighbor who knows us and our our home?

In the end, we think of the perpetual motion of his father Henry. It was his arms and legs that were the tractors that powered the farm. His guts and determination raised the level of their survival, in spite of losing his son’s labor during the school year. We remember his kinetic energy and commitment to the survival and betterment of the Borlaug family.

Next we look at the transformative events of Dr. Borlaug’s educational years with You at the University of Minnesota. The first of these is not academic, but competitive and relational in nature. What role did this tremendous school and its students play in Borlaug’s life?

Were it not for the persistence of the athletic George Champlin, and his commitment to drive out to meet Norman in person, would this exceptional human being have attended teachers college in Iowa? Once there, would he have studied forestry, plant pathology, and microbiology? Would his character and physical man be hardened by wrestling and enjoyment of football? Lord, it seems sure the course of Norman’s life was steered by this; another significant relationship. We thank You that Mr. Champlin was able to encourage young Norman to choose a different mountain to climb! We praise You that his academic and sporting years at the University of Minnesota pointed him to discover Your vision of what he could possibly achieve!

How can we credit the impact of a single speech on a young adult? Borlaug’s pathway shifted after attending the Sigma Xi lecture by the innovative Elvin Charles Stakman. Dr. Borlaug credits Stakman with convincing him to invest his future in plant pathology instead of forest pathology. Later, it is Stakman that offers him a chance to impact hunger as a geneticist in Mexico and eschewing the security of a career with Du Pont. * We pause to remember that through Stakman, Norman heard Your “bat kol”; which means “daughter of voice, sound, and resonance” in Hebrew.

We also thank You for the controversies and even sharp professional differences of his life. A major thread of his work life is termed the “Borlaug hypothesis”. This position argues that by maximizing crops yields through responsible fertilization and insecticides (including DDT), we ultimately best protect our ecosystem. How? When agricultural lands are productive, then we don’t have deforestation or other habitats being converted to farm lands.

This core belief was a point of disagreement in an otherwise mostly positive relationship with Rachel Carson. He argued with the famed author of “Silent Spring” that we don’t have to sacrifice our ecosystems or human life. We can feed the world, and protect the environment at the same time. Lord, we remember with You this bone of contention, but also thank You that we are sharpened and refined by our adversaries.

Now, we turn to ask and intercede in this moment of history. What will You bring to our spirit? What points of separation need addressing as illustrated in in Dr. Borlaug’s life 1914 through 1970?

We remember the covenant and committed relationships of our family and friends. Let’s use each as a point of repentance and blessing:

Grandfather Nels – Norman received a sense of being and curiosity from his grandad. Will You forgive us our glossing over the stories and lessons they are constantly trying to teach us? Will You forgive our offense of closing our ears to their wisdom? Will You bless Minnesota with renewed connection between grandpa and grandkids?

Sina – Sometimes, it is a woman who rescues a man! We praise You for our aunts and cousins. Forgive us from closing our minds to her insights. When we reject her, we have rejected You. Will You forgive us this offense? We have rejected Your Spirit spoken through them and have offended You. Will You reverse this curse and leave us with a blessing of women who will face the blizzard in Minnesota?

Buddy George – Messiah, how grateful we are for true friends! We remember the life altering chat Champlin had with Norman. What if he didn’t listen to Your voice that day? But he did! Jesus, we thank You so much for new life we get from a real friend. Will You forgive us when we fail our friends by fearing to offer a challenge to their point of view? We trust so little in the power of friendship. In this, we deeply offend You, and block so much love, goodness, and connectedness from our lives. Will You heal us to put ourselves out for the blessing of others when it is in our power to do so?

Clara – Master, we acknowledge to You the compassion taught to Norman through this good woman! It’s just like You to enable us to feed and heal others, and especially so when it is truly a danger of getting sick ourselves. Where we haven’t taken in the compassion of our mothers, will You forgive us? We have denied You when we ignore Mom’s big heart. Will You bless Minnesota with Clara’s brand of selfless healing, and willingness to just plain help our neighbors?

Henry – Holy One, we see You in Norman’s dad Henry. We can feel the Norwegian stoicism that never gave in to pity or stopped working to bless his family. Will You give us honor for our fathers who work too hard? Will You bless Minnesotan’s to lighten his load, and pay our respects to dad? Will You bless our future with such men who live to better the next generation? Where we ignore them, we have ignored You. Forgive us as we forgive our fathers!

Lord, why are we a people so full of judgment? Here is man who quite possibly and quite literally lived up to his press; “The man who fed a billion people.” Yet, he is both loved and hated to this day. Will You hear us as we repent for these further points of prayerful discussion?

For our first flow chart, we see that Stakman led Borlaug into genetics, which led to CIMMYT (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo), which resulted in astounding crops yields 50, 60, or 70x their original yields, and millions of Mexicans fed. (Later, millions of Indians, and Africans would be fed through similar programs.) What began in the past as cross polinization, can now entail changes to a species DNA or mRNA. Though this technology offers us dazzling possibilities, it’s critics argue that we may permanently alter individual species and cause ripple effects through the ecosystem.

To these conflicts past and their lingering echoes present we plead to the Lord, will You first heal us from our judgments? Will You forgive Borlaug’s critics past, present, and future of their bitter judgments of his awe-inspiring work to advance food science and environmental science? We, his beneficiaries, can go off half-cocked!

We can often criticize with so little accurate information as to the depths of human suffering he fought to alleviate. What would we do if we could attempt a cure for hunger knowing full well that we may fail? Isn’t learning from that observable failure the very heart of science? Perhaps, this explains Borlaug’s admiration for “dirty handed scientists”; at some point theoretical science must be left behind. Someone must make a brave decision to make a valiant experiment, or abandon progress. Where we have judged this scientist, we have judged You. Where Borlaug judged his detractors, he appears to have judged You. Will You forgive the North Star state and bless us as agricultural scientists in the future?

Lastly, we face the dilemma of the food scientist versus environmental scientist. Wise Judge, will You hear the pain in the face-off between the man who longs to ease human suffering, Norman Borlaug, and the woman who longed to end the suffering of ecosphere, Rachel Carson? We can see much more accurately in hindsight that they both had profound overlap and admiration for each other as scientists. We also can accept that they simply had differing professional opinions. Yet, what could explain these schisms that have grown between the farmer and the ecologist?

Perhaps it could come down to the locus of their study? Was Carson, as environmentalists are prone to do, viewing the world as collection of interdependent systems? Could this explain that she saw hunger through an external, macrocosmic lens? Was she a theoretic scientist, or one with dirty hands?

Conversely, Borlaug in his genetic studies, perhaps, saw the world through a microcosmic lens. His focus on making minute, internal changes that would manifest in the next generation. He answered one question at a time, and led thousands of others in similar experiments. He seemed to only theorize when a hypothesis failed.

Eternal Father, will You balance us so that we can contribute, like Dr. Borlaug, to right the imbalance of food resources on this planet? Will You give us the grace, like Carson, to dare to ask huge systemic questions? Will You give both types of researchers the humility to restrain themselves to evidence-based science? We have greatly offend Our Father where we judged our neighbor on these points. Will You bless us to see your Creation as sufficient? Will You make us wise to create proper boundaries around genetics? May we also feed our prideful hunger for significance, and accept that You already have spoken inalienable worth into every life? How we love You, and need You to survive!

“The recognition that hunger and social strife are linked is not new, for it is evidenced by the Old Testament passage, ‘and it came to pass that when they shall be hungry they shall fret themselves, and curse their King and their God.” Norman Borlaug quoting Isaiah 8:21 in his Nobel Peace Prize 1970 acceptance speech.

Matthew 13-37-43 ESV
“He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, …”

P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Internet. https://borlaug.cfans.umn.edu/about-borlaug/child
*** Norman Borlaug – Biographical. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Mon. 7 Mar 2022. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1970/borlaug/biographical/
From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1951-1970, Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972
**** Internet. Iowa State University. Library. Curation Services. Norman Borlaug – Revolutionary. Created 1971. Posted December 12, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkCTV2S3jZo
University of Minnesota. 2005.”Borlaug and the University of Minnesota”. Archived from the original on March 10, 2005. Retrieved June 18, 2005.
* Borlaug, Norman E. Mankind And Civilization At Another Crossroad (Speech). UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 7th McDougall Memorial Lecture.

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Uncategorized

Supreme Court Justices

1970
Friends since their childhoods in St. Paul, Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun are reunited on the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice Burger presides over a turbulent era of Constitutional issues, including Blackmun’s landmark 1973 opinion in Roe v. Wade, which establishes a woman’s right to abortion.*

Minnesotan Chief Justice Warren E. Burger took the oath as the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court June 23rd of 1969. Approximately a year later Justice Harry Blackmun would join him on the U.S. Supreme Court. Over time, they would drift apart in their interpretation of the law much like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; both men clearly loved the law, but differed in its interpretation. **

Burger, personally, was considered a conservative and a Constitutional constructionist or originalist, meaning he interpreted our laws according to the original intent of our framers. (See his influence on cases such as Miliken v. Bradley.) So, what was his influence as Chief Justice? Two pillars of his tenure were a strengthened separation of powers in our government, and limiting the exclusionary rule, which throws out illegally-obtained evidence from court. ***

Conversely, Blackmun tended towards pragmatism and stare decisis (following rules and precedents based on previous decisions) in his interpretations of our laws. Harry met Warren in kindergarten at Van Buren School on Dayton’s Bluff, St. Paul, MN and remained friends with Burger for most of his life. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1934, his private practice kept him in the metro area until 1950, and in Rochester Minnesota as legal counsel to Mayo Clinic until 1959.

Federal appointments guided the following decades of his life. His first appointment to the Eighth district Court of Appeals in St. Louis by President Eisenhower. His performance there caught the attention of President Richard Nixon, who tapped him to become a Supreme Court justice on June 9th, 1970. Blackmun’s commitment to the principles of pragmatism and precedent were severely tested in his privilege of writing the opinion on the landmark abortion case of Roe v. Wade. ****

Let’s go to the primary sources of their opinions written at the time of the January 22, 1973 decision. Shall we compare and contrast how these two old friends, though looking at the elephant from different angles and through different lenses, came to support each other in this decision? These quoted opinions, it is the author’s hope, will show a window into the logic, mind, and heart of these old friends as well as the dissenting opinion of Justice Rehnquist.

MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court.

“ To summarize and to repeat:

  1. A state criminal abortion statute of the current Texas type, that excepts from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    (a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician.
    (b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.
    (c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life [410 U.S. 113, 165]   may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.
  2. The State may define the term “physician,” as it has been employed in the preceding paragraphs of this Part XI of this opinion, to mean only a physician currently licensed by the State, and may proscribe any abortion by a person who is not a physician as so defined.
    In Doe v. Bolton, post, p. 179, procedural requirements contained in one of the modern abortion statutes are considered. That opinion and this one, of course, are to be read together. 67  
    This holding, we feel, is consistent with the relative weights of the respective interests involved, with the lessons and examples of medical and legal history, with the lenity of the common law, and with the demands of the profound problems of the present day. The decision leaves the State free to place increasing restrictions on abortion as the period of pregnancy lengthens, so long as those restrictions are tailored to the recognized state interests. The decision vindicates the right of the physician to administer medical treatment according to his professional judgment up to the points where important [410 U.S. 113, 166]   state interests provide compelling justifications for intervention. Up to those points, the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician. If an individual practitioner abuses the privilege of exercising proper medical judgment, the usual remedies, judicial and intra-professional, are available.

XII
Our conclusion that Art. 1196 is unconstitutional means, of course, that the Texas abortion statutes, as a unit, must fall. The exception of Art. 1196 cannot be struck down separately, for then the State would be left with a statute proscribing all abortion procedures no matter how medically urgent the case.
Although the District Court granted appellant Roe declaratory relief, it stopped short of issuing an injunction against enforcement of the Texas statutes. The Court has recognized that different considerations enter into a federal court’s decision as to declaratory relief, on the one hand, and injunctive relief, on the other. Zwickler v. Koota, 389 U.S. 241, 252 -255 (1967); Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479 (1965). We are not dealing with a statute that, on its face, appears to abridge free expression, an area of particular concern under Dombrowski and refined in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S., at 50 .
We find it unnecessary to decide whether the District Court erred in withholding injunctive relief, for we assume the Texas prosecutorial authorities will give full credence to this decision that the present criminal abortion statutes of that State are unconstitutional.
The judgment of the District Court as to intervenor Hallford is reversed, and Dr. Hallford’s complaint in intervention is dismissed. In all other respects, the judgment [410 U.S. 113, 167]   of the District Court is affirmed. Costs are allowed to the appellee. (The party against whom an appeal is filed.)

It is so ordered.”

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER, concurring*
“I agree that, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the abortion statutes of Georgia and Texas impermissibly limit the performance of abortions necessary to protect the health of pregnant women, using [410 U.S. 208] the term health in its broadest medical context. See United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62, 71-72 (1971). I am somewhat troubled that the Court has taken notice of various scientific and medical data in reaching its conclusion; however, I do not believe that the Court has exceeded the scope of judicial notice accepted in other contexts.
In oral argument, counsel for the State of Texas informed the Court that early abortion procedures were routinely permitted in certain exceptional cases, such as nonconsensual pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. In the face of a rigid and narrow statute, such as that of Texas, no one in these circumstances should be placed in a posture of dependence on a prosecutorial policy or prosecutorial discretion. Of course, States must have broad power, within the limits indicated in the opinions, to regulate the subject of abortions, but where the consequences of state intervention are so severe, uncertainty must be avoided as much as possible. For my part, I would be inclined to allow a State to require the certification of two physicians to support an abortion, but the Court holds otherwise. I do not believe that such a procedure is unduly burdensome, as are the complex steps of the Georgia statute, which require as many as six doctors and the use of a hospital certified by the JCAH.
I do not read the Court’s holdings today as having the sweeping consequences attributed to them by the dissenting Justices; the dissenting views discount the reality that the vast majority of physicians observe the standards of their profession, and act only on the basis of carefully deliberated medical judgments relating to life and health. Plainly, the Court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortions on demand.” [410 U.S. 209]

MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, dissenting.
“The Court’s opinion brings to the decision of this troubling question both extensive historical fact and a wealth of legal scholarship. While the opinion thus commands my respect, I find myself nonetheless in fundamental disagreement with those parts of it that invalidate the Texas statute in question, and therefore dissent.

I
The Court’s opinion decides that a State may impose virtually no restriction on the performance of abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy. Our previous decisions indicate that a necessary predicate for such an opinion is a plaintiff who was in her first trimester of pregnancy at some time during the pendency of her law-suit. While a party may vindicate his own constitutional rights, he may not seek vindication for the rights of others. Moose Lodge v. Irvis, 407 U.S. 163 (1972); Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972). The Court’s statement of facts in this case makes clear, however, that the record in no way indicates the presence of such a plaintiff. We know only that plaintiff Roe at the time of filing her complaint was a pregnant woman; for aught that appears in this record, she may have been in her last trimester of pregnancy as of the date the complaint was filed.
Nothing in the Court’s opinion indicates that Texas might not constitutionally apply its proscription of abortion as written to a woman in that stage of pregnancy. Nonetheless, the Court uses her complaint against the Texas statute as a fulcrum for deciding that States may [410 U.S. 113, 172]   impose virtually no restrictions on medical abortions performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. In deciding such a hypothetical lawsuit, the Court departs from the longstanding admonition that it should never “formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied.” Liverpool, New York & Philadelphia S. S. Co. v. Commissioners of Emigration, 113 U.S. 33, 39 (1885). See also Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288, 345 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring).

II
Even if there were a plaintiff in this case capable of litigating the issue which the Court decides, I would reach a conclusion opposite to that reached by the Court. I have difficulty in concluding, as the Court does, that the right of “privacy” is involved in this case. Texas, by the statute here challenged, bars the performance of a medical abortion by a licensed physician on a plaintiff such as Roe. A transaction resulting in an operation such as this is not “private” in the ordinary usage of that word. Nor is the “privacy” that the Court finds here even a distant relative of the freedom from searches and seizures protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which the Court has referred to as embodying a right to privacy. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967).
If the Court means by the term “privacy” no more than that the claim of a person to be free from unwanted state regulation of consensual transactions may be a form of “liberty” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, there is no doubt that similar claims have been upheld in our earlier decisions on the basis of that liberty. I agree with the statement of MR. JUSTICE STEWART in his concurring opinion that the “liberty,” against deprivation of which without due process the Fourteenth [410 U.S. 113, 173]   Amendment protects, embraces more than the rights found in the Bill of Rights. But that liberty is not guaranteed absolutely against deprivation, only against deprivation without due process of law. The test traditionally applied in the area of social and economic legislation is whether or not a law such as that challenged has a rational relation to a valid state objective. Williamson v. Lee Optical Co., 348 U.S. 483, 491 (1955). The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment undoubtedly does place a limit, albeit a broad one, on legislative power to enact laws such as this. If the Texas statute were to prohibit an abortion even where the mother’s life is in jeopardy, I have little doubt that such a statute would lack a rational relation to a valid state objective under the test stated in Williamson, supra. But the Court’s sweeping invalidation of any restrictions on abortion during the first trimester is impossible to justify under that standard, and the conscious weighing of competing factors that the Court’s opinion apparently substitutes for the established test is far more appropriate to a legislative judgment than to a judicial one.
The Court eschews the history of the Fourteenth Amendment in its reliance on the “compelling state interest” test. See Weber v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 406 U.S. 164, 179 (1972) (dissenting opinion). But the Court adds a new wrinkle to this test by transposing it from the legal considerations associated with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to this case arising under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Unless I misapprehend the consequences of this transplanting of the “compelling state interest test,” the Court’s opinion will accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of leaving this area of the law more confused than it found it. [410 U.S. 113, 174]  
While the Court’s opinion quotes from the dissent of Mr. Justice Holmes in Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 74 (1905), the result it reaches is more closely attuned to the majority opinion of Mr. Justice Peckham in that case. As in Lochner and similar cases applying substantive due process standards to economic and social welfare legislation, the adoption of the compelling state interest standard will inevitably require this Court to examine the legislative policies and pass on the wisdom of these policies in the very process of deciding whether a particular state interest put forward may or may not be “compelling.” The decision here to break pregnancy into three distinct terms and to outline the permissible restrictions the State may impose in each one, for example, partakes more of judicial legislation than it does of a determination of the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The fact that a majority of the States reflecting, after all, the majority sentiment in those States, have had restrictions on abortions for at least a century is a strong indication, it seems to me, that the asserted right to an abortion is not “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental,” Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105 (1934). Even today, when society’s views on abortion are changing, the very existence of the debate is evidence that the “right” to an abortion is not so universally accepted as the appellant would have us believe.
To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. Conn. Stat., Tit. 22, 14, 16. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth [410 U.S. 113, 175]   Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. 1 While many States have amended or updated [410 U.S. 113, 176]   their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today. 2 Indeed, the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857 [410 U.S. 113, 177]   and “has remained substantially unchanged to the present time.” Ante, at 119.
There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted. The only conclusion possible from this history is that the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter.

III
Even if one were to agree that the case that the Court decides were here, and that the enunciation of the substantive constitutional law in the Court’s opinion were proper, the actual disposition of the case by the Court is still difficult to justify. The Texas statute is struck down in toto, even though the Court apparently concedes that at later periods of pregnancy Texas might impose these selfsame statutory limitations on abortion. My understanding of past practice is that a statute found [410 U.S. 113, 178]   to be invalid as applied to a particular plaintiff, but not unconstitutional as a whole, is not simply “struck down” but is, instead, declared unconstitutional as applied to the fact situation before the Court. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886); Street v. New York, 394 U.S. 576 (1969).
For all of the foregoing reasons, I respectfully dissent.”

[ Footnote 1 ] Jurisdictions having enacted abortion laws prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868:

  1. Alabama – Ala. Acts, c. 6, 2 (1840).
  2. Arizona – Howell Code, c. 10, 45 (1865).
  3. Arkansas – Ark. Rev. Stat., c. 44, div. III, Art. II, 6 (1838).
  4. California – Cal. Sess. Laws, c. 99, 45, p. 233 (1849-1850).
  5. Colorado (Terr.) – Colo. Gen. Laws of Terr. of Colo., 1st Sess., 42, pp. 296-297 (1861).
  6. Connecticut – Conn. Stat., Tit. 20, 14, 16 (1821). By 1868, this statute had been replaced by another abortion law. Conn. Pub. Acts, c. 71, 1, 2, p. 65 (1860).
  7. Florida – Fla. Acts 1st Sess., c. 1637, subc. 3, 10, 11, subc. 8, 9, 10, 11 (1868), as amended, now Fla. Stat. Ann. 782.09, 782.10, 797.01, 797.02, 782.16 (1965).
  8. Georgia – Ga. Pen. Code, 4th Div., 20 (1833).
  9. Kingdom of Hawaii – Hawaii Pen. Code, c. 12, 1, 2, 3 (1850).
  10. Idaho (Terr.) – Idaho (Terr.) Laws, Crimes and Punishments 33, 34, 42, pp. 441, 443 (1863).
  11. Illinois – Ill. Rev. Criminal Code 40, 41, 46, pp. 130, 131 (1827). By 1868, this statute had been replaced by a subsequent enactment. Ill. Pub. Laws 1, 2, 3, p. 89 (1867).
  12. Indiana – Ind. Rev. Stat. 1, 3, p. 224 (1838). By 1868 this statute had been superseded by a subsequent enactment. Ind. Laws, c. LXXXI, 2 (1859).
  13. Iowa (Terr.) – Iowa (Terr.) Stat., 1st Legis., 1st Sess., 18, p. 145 (1838). By 1868, this statute had been superseded by a subsequent enactment. Iowa (Terr.) Rev. Stat., c. 49, 10, 13 (1843).
  14. Kansas (Terr.) – Kan. (Terr.) Stat., c. 48, 9, 10, 39 (1855). By 1868, this statute had been superseded by a subsequent enactment. Kan. (Terr.) Laws, c. 28, 9, 10, 37 (1859).
  15. Louisiana – La. Rev. Stat., Crimes and Offenses 24, p. 138 (1856).
  16. Maine – Me. Rev. Stat., c. 160, 11, 12, 13, 14 (1840).
  17. Maryland – Md. Laws, c. 179, 2, p. 315 (1868).
  18. Massachusetts – Mass. Acts & Resolves, c. 27 (1845).
  19. Michigan – Mich. Rev. Stat., c. 153, 32, 33, 34, p. 662 (1846). [410 U.S. 113, 176]   20. Minnesota (Terr.) – Minn. (Terr.) Rev. Stat., c. 100, 10, 11, p. 493 (1851).
  20. Mississippi – Miss. Code, c. 64, 8, 9, p. 958 (1848).
  21. Missouri – Mo. Rev. Stat., Art. II, 9, 10, 36, pp. 168, 172 (1835).
  22. Montana (Terr.) – Mont. (Terr.) Laws, Criminal Practice Acts 41, p. 184 (1864).
  23. Nevada (Terr.) – Nev. (Terr.) Laws, c. 28, 42, p. 63 (1861).
  24. New Hampshire – N. H. Laws, c. 743, 1, p. 708 (1848).
  25. New Jersey – N. J. Laws, p. 266 (1849).
  26. New York – N. Y. Rev. Stat., pt. 4, c. 1, Tit. 2, 8, 9, pp. 12-13 (1828). By 1868, this statute had been superseded. N. Y. Laws, c. 260, 1-6, pp. 285-286 (1845); N. Y. Laws, c. 22, 1, p. 19 (1846).
  27. Ohio – Ohio Gen. Stat. 111 (1), 112 (2), p. 252 (1841).
  28. Oregon – Ore. Gen. Laws, Crim. Code, c. 43, 509, p. 528 (1845-1864).
  29. Pennsylvania – Pa. Laws No. 374, 87, 88, 89 (1860).
  30. Texas – Tex. Gen. Stat. Dig., c. VII, Arts. 531-536, p. 524 (Oldham & White 1859).
  31. Vermont – Vt. Acts No. 33, 1 (1846). By 1868, this statute had been amended. Vt. Acts No. 57, 1, 3 (1867).
  32. Virginia – Va. Acts, Tit. II, c. 3, 9, p. 96 (1848).
  33. Washington (Terr.) – Wash. (Terr.) Stats., c. II, 37, 38, p. 81 (1854).
  34. West Virginia – See Va. Acts., Tit. II, c. 3, 9, p. 96 (1848); W. Va. Const., Art. XI, par. 8 (1863).
  35. Wisconsin – Wis. Rev. Stat., c. 133, 10, 11 (1849). By 1868, this statute had been superseded. Wis. Rev. Stat., c. 164, 10, 11; c. 169, 58, 59 (1858).

Eternal Father we now bow to You as we review this chapter: in the history of our state, in the history of our nation, and in the personal history of these men. We sit patiently and listen to the Chief Justice of All; what wisdom will You bring for us? How does the Host of Heaven, (Hebrew tzeva hashamayim), mentioned 8889 times in Your Word view this event in the lives of our Judgers Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun? Will You speak and reason with Your ekklesia as You do with our elders in heaven?
“Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one suggested this, and another that. ” I Kings 22:19-20 Berean Study Bible
You have shown us this give and take conversation; will let us reflect on the decision of Roe vs. Wade with You today?

My first question is based on the premise that while the Law is of utmost importance in the Books of Moses, it is only fulfilled by the eternal chesed (right relationship G-d to man, and man to man) of the Messiah. As we practice the Law, we learn of our total depravity to perfectly follow it in letter and spirit. As You have forever shown us, Your only Son that is loved by our Good Father fulfills both the Spirit and the Letter of the law.

Indulge my extrapolations, Dear One? Instead of analyzing Roe v. Wade on the scale of law, medicine, or science, what if we placed it on the scale seemingly most used in heaven; that of right relationship?
Since the inception of this judgment, 63, 459,781 babies are no more. *
Each of these abortions includes the choice of the mother, most would also include the tacit agreement of the father, and conservatively the approval of at least one parent or trusted friend. It would seem that at least three human relationships are affected forever by each of these terminations: mother to child, father to child, and extended family to child. With out judgment as to why these choices were made, we see that 190,379,781 primary human relationships are neutralized.

But is that the actual sum of negated relationships, True One? Do not we also have to account for the inverse and reverse of these relationships: father to mother, father to family or friend, mother to father, and mother to family or friend? If we account for this relational cost, we see that 571, 138, 029 primary human relationships are forever changed or neutralized.

Yet this not does not accurately sum up the effect on our world because it doesn’t even dent the relationships unformed or under formed with the three roles, or for the sake of argument, the three relationships present within Your Deity. Wouldn’t we also have to account for these changes since January 22, 1973? While we don’t have visual evidence of these connections, perhaps we can perceive and feel the absence of these affiliations with our hearts: 571,138,029 less relationships with Our Father (Adonai), 571,138,029 less relationships with the Son (Messiah), and 571,138,029 disrupted relationships with the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha’Kodesh)? Perhaps we now see a cost in terms of creature to Creator as 1,713,440,087 unfulfilled connections in primary covenantal relationships!

Lastly, we haven’t received the echo of approval back from G-d which cements our primary relationships, and helps us understand them. Lord, forgive these humble examples, but allow me to elaborate… again. If we never engage as a parent, how will we understand the agony of a parent that loses an only child? If we never engage as a child, from what father and mother will we learn the basic trust necessary for all committed relationships? If we never experience unconditional love, how do we pass that gift on to others and heal our world?

In Your mercy, hear our prayer: We took this law into our hearts and into our relationships. We terminated at least 1.7 billion chances to more humanize our nation! We chose “no” relationship to these siblings, parents, families and friends, and Eternal Family rather than “know” relationship! Will You forgive us this rejection and abandonment of these aborted lives? Will You annul our nullification of their potential relationships and connection to fathers, mothers, families, and friends? Will You forgive us our offenses against these unborn that are continuations of our own trauma? Lord, we wound others when we lose hope! G-d, we self-suicide when we believe we are alone with our pain! Master, we deny the Imago Dei (Image of God) of others when we can’t see Your reflection or are unaware of Your Beauty and Eternal Light within us! Will You have mercy?

Now we come in gratitude to reflect on the lives of Warren E. Burger and Harry A. Blackmun. We remember two friends who pursued their dreams and achieved such epic goals within their lifespan. We remember two men who loved the Constitution and the Law with whole being. (May we also be merciful to our “old friends” with whom we intellectually disagree.)

We thank You that, whether we agree with their interpretation of the Law or not, they routinely engaged such weighty decisions as Supreme Court Justices. We applaud their bravery to tackle such eternal challenges to justice. Will You bless their progeny, their property, and their legal influence by the authority of Jesus Christ where they participated with Your Eternal Standards of Justice? Will You cut off their progeny, property, and influence in so far as they have opposed your Eternal Standards of Justice by the Cross of Christ, the Blood of Christ, and the Resurrection of Christ?

As Your Adopted Son, I bring these questions and observations to You seeking Your Justice for this and future generations of Minnesota, the American Nation, and Your Ekklesia.

Will You honor the intent of Chief Justice Burger to “allow a State to require the certification of two physicians to support an abortion”?

Will You refine the intent of Justice Blackmun to redefine “the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician”? Father, though this case is heralded as a landmark for “women’s rights”, this quote seems too say that Blackmun believed more in “Doctor’s rights”. Further, he advocated and articulated that women retained a Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. While this implies a human right to privacy, was it the intent of the authors of the Constitution as it applies to human reproduction? Father, will You remove these unbeliefs and misbeliefs from the letter of the Law, and give Minnesotans as well as Americans an empathy and blessing for the rights of future generations?
Will You refine the decision of Roe v. Wade 1973 in Your Courts? If they are to be judged on the scale of “stare decisis”, then they surely seem to be found wanting!
Look at the primary source evidence of precedent brought by dissenting Justice Rehnquist. “By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth [410 U.S. 113, 175]   Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion.” So, to make this clear, our Supreme Court decided against 79 years of established law before the 14th Amendment was invented in 1868. Then they found an additional precedent of a women’s and doctor’s right to privacy 105 years later in 1973? Dear Father, doesn’t it seem that the argument Justices Burger and Blackmun supported as “stare decisis” was and is at least 184 years too late in their era?

We appeal to heaven to bring consistency and justice to this alleged misapplication of judicial precedent! Will You judge these Justices according to Your Eternal principles? Though incredible men of learning, they fall short, perhaps, because they measure the law intellectually staying with the safe playgrounds of their minds. Yet, while You never negate our minds, You call us to the wisdom of law that has travelled through the brain, and has made it down deep into our heart. We obey the law not only because we “should” or solely out of “duty”. We obey the law because we love our neighbor and want to do right by him. We practice following the law, from the belly, because Our Good Judge has shown us that mercy triumphs over judgment in Minnesota.

P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://libguides.mnhs.org/burger
*** https://www.mnopedia.org/event/january-17-1907
**** Nelson, Paul. “Blackmun, Harry A. (1908–1999).” MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. http://www.mnopedia.org/person/blackmun-harry-1908-1999 (accessed January 17, 2022). https://www.mnopedia.org/person/blackmun-harry-1908-1999
United States Supreme Court ROE v. WADE(1973) No. 70-18 Argued: December 13, 1971 Decided: January 22, 1973 https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/410/113.html
* https://biblehub.com/1_kings/22-20.htm
* https://www.lifenews.com/2022/01/07/63459781-babies-have-been-killed-in-abortions-since-roe-v-wade-in-1973/

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20th Century, First Nations, History, Indian, Native Americans, Uncategorized

AIM (American Indian Movement) Founded

AIM Patrol patch. mnopedia.org

July 28, 1968
Two prisoners, Clyde Bellecourt and Eddie Benton-Banai, met in Stillwater State Penitentiary about 1962. These new friends formed the Indian Folklore Club to improve the stay for each other and their fellow Native inmates. After meeting Dennis Banks and Russell Means six years later, the trio form the heart of the American Indian Movement. This pan-Indian, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist organization sought to improve the civil rights of Native Americans in Minneapolis, Minnesota. *

Though it may be a bit shocking to the modern liberal Minneapolitan, many young Indians were introduced to the city only as recently as fifty years ago. Two fairly obscure laws passed about a dozen years before created their incentive to come to town. Public Law 959 a.k.a. the Indian Relocation Act of 1956 was intended to encourage their young tribal members to leave the reservations and assimilate into large cities. ** Public Law 280 proposed to move entire tribes that were farther down the path of assimilation from the umbrella of Federal Law and under the jurisdiction of State law. **

Much of AIM’s leadoff efforts were to assist the new urban members of their tribal branches with their legal questions.
These folks were often thought of as “transnationals” in that they were simultaneously members of First Nations (tribes) and American citizens. Quickly they began AIM Patrol,*** a citizen watch group to challenge police brutality against Natives. Further, they played a pivotal role in the creation of the Legal Rights Center of Minneapolis, a resource that provides free legal aid to the poor. ****

Actus, in Latin, is the root word for activist meaning ‘doing’, ‘a driving force’, or ‘an impulse’. Such a broad word is apropos for AIM and the energy of its charter members.
Look at the impact on the early 1970’s in the following timeline of its’ various actions and events.

November 1969 – Occupation of Alcatraz
This point of action by AIM greatly impacted U.S. government’s decision to abandon they policy of Termination and Relocation.

October 1972 – Trail of Broken Treaties
Cross country traveling protest birthed the “Twenty Point” portion paper which defined points of treaties protestors believed the U.S. government had failed to fulfill.
(A few examples.)
“Restore terminated rights of Native Nations.
Repeal state jurisdiction on Native Nations (Public Law 280).
Provide Federal protection for offenses against Indians.
Abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Create a new office of Federal Indian Relations.
Remedy breakdown in the constitutionally prescribed relationships between the United States and Native Nations.
Ensure immunity of Native Nations from state commerce regulation, taxes, and trade restrictions.
Protect Indian religious freedom and cultural integrity.Recognize the right of Indians to interpret treaties.” *

February 27, 1973 – Pine Ridge – Wounded Knee Incident
For 71 days, the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota was occupied by AIM while they battled U.S. officials.This site was chosen because it was significant to the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Two U.S. officials were seriously wounded, a civil rights activist disappeared, and two Native Americans died.

For most of our North Star citizens it came as a shock that things were so bad for Native Minnesotans that they would take up arms. Perhaps, no event in the 20th century did more to underscore the dysfunctional relationships and mistrust between our State and Federal governments and America’s First Nations. Further, our laws seem to not be the best vehicle to convey the complexities of the human heart and emotional intelligence. Hear, if you can, the words of one of AIM’s most potent members.
“Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain.” Russell Means


And so we turn from this moment in history to the face of the Eternal One. Dear Father, how we need You to come and stand between us; the Native American Minnesotan, and the Adopted Minnesotan. Can we sit in Your circle and wait on You together? We remember, right now, that we are all co-members of Your Creation, and that all who turn to You will be saved from our narcissism past, present, and future. Blessed are You, King of the Universe, who gives us the omnipotence and omnipresence of the Messiah!

We begin our prayer journey with gratitude for G-d ordained meetings. Only You could have known how Clyde Bellecourt and Eddie Benton – Banai would become friends and allies, (in prison no less), and cast a vision for the Indian Folklore Club. We thank You for their vision for a movement that would include all tribes protecting the future from imperialism through the present practice of human rights and civil rights. We thank You for the strong rope made when the cords of Dennis Banks and Russell Means were added to the founders. (Bind us together Lord! Colossians 3:14) Will You bless them, the land of Minnesota, and their ascendants by the authority of the Lord Jesus?

Lord, we acknowledge to You the incompleteness of our laws, and their flaccid lack of power to fulfill the aims of the law. Our laws, too often, force compliance of new outcomes rather than taking the painful, yet relationally honest path of persuasion! In this case, we remember to You Public Law 959 and Public Law 280. We see the positive outcomes that the legislators hoped for; a Native Population not isolated from the growth and opportunities of our society through remaining landlocked on their tribal grounds or reservations. Lawmakers, it appears, wanted young Indians to also see their version of the American dream; not remain shut-ins of their Res.

Lord, we need You to forgive the judgments of the proponents of Law 959 and Law 280 towards Native Minnesotans. Where they have judged our Native brothers and sisters, they have offended Your Image. Will You forgive us this sin so recognized by the American Indian Movement?

Conversely, will You forgive the judgements of those opponents of Laws 959 and 280? Where Native Minnesotans have judged our Adopted Minnesotan family, they too have offended Your Image. Will You forgive us this sin committed against detractors past and present?

We acknowledge the Spirit of Force and the Spirit of Compliance present in laws made far away from the communities they most effect. Though centuries after the fact, the force of such laws echo more of the ring of aristocracy than democracy. Could our Native neighbors felt the transference of centuries of the Canon Laws of the Vatican City, the Napoleonic Code, the Kings Bench, and Court of Chancery within our legal system? Free One, will You take this “force of law” up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Will You create the chesed within our legal system, both present and future, to emulate the trust and just and heartfelt compliance of Your Court in heaven? How much we need, invite, and desire the Justice of a Holy Father who is faithful and true in his judgments towards all creation! How we yearn for You to come and make us all one under Your good and right legal system!

As a finale, we consider what happens to a nation which has a worship dysfunction.
When Your Chosen Ones had seasons of disrupted worship, they split their anointed heritage into the tribes of Israel and Judah. Let’s see what Mr. Bellecourt observed as a bitter root cause necessitating AIM. “We were prohibited from practicing our spirituality. It was illegal to be in our country. The Movement changed all that.” —from Bellecourt’s 2016 memoir, “The Thunder Before the Storm”

In a similar vein, I would posit that many of the greatest failures of our Republic stem from a representative class that has morphed into a ruling class. When those making the law fail to acknowledge Adonai, they forget that they too are subjects under judgment. This lack of humility, in large part, is responsible for laws and mandates that have broken faith and relationship between government and the citizenry. Is this why Your Kingdom commands worship? Is this why the Great Ones and Elders of Heaven routinely remove their crowns and prostrate themselves in a state of total respect and awe of Your Justice?

No more “Wounded Knees” Lord unless they be in adoration! Let us be a people who bow together! Let us be a people of humility! Let us remember the cost of our tribe’s freedom today in gratitude! You took the rap for every nation so that we could reign in honesty and innocence!
“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”” Revelation 5:9,10

P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm or https://www.mnopedia.org/group/american-indian-movement-aim
** Matthiessen, Peter (1980). In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. New York: The Viking Press. pp. 28–29.
*** Wilson, Brianna. AIM Patrol, Minneapolis. Minnesota Historical Society. December 28, 2016. Internet. https://www.mnopedia.org/group/aim-patrol-minneapolis
**** Internet. https://www.legalrightscenter.org
http://www.aimovement.org (Much of the “Twenty Points” strategy is credited to activist Hank Adams.)
* https://aimovement.weebly.com/timeline.html
* https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/russell_means_582021
** Bellecourt, Clyde and Lurie, Jon. The Thunder Before the Storm. Minnesota Historical Society Press; 1st edition (November 1, 2016)

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20th Century, History, Theatre, Uncategorized

Guthrie Theater

Original Guthrie Theater – circa 1963. Amy Sanders. guthrietheater.org

May 8, 1963
The Guthrie Theater, named for its founder and first artistic directory, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, opens in Minneapolis with a performance of Hamlet. Known as an innovator “interested in places that aren’t central marketplaces of theater,” Guthrie assembles a distinguished repertory company that includes George Grizzard, Hume Cronyn, and Jessica Tandy. *

In a private conversation over breakfast, three friends despaired the commercialization of Broadway. This triumvirate, composed of uber director Sir Tyrone Guthrie, stage manager Peter Zeisler, and producer Oliver Rea, committed to move elsewhere and build a theatrical community of their own design. ** They were determined to bring gravitas, excellence, and elevation to audiences not exposed to classical theatre.

To be more precise, Mr. Guthrie gave the following quote as to why he saw a promising future of theatre in the Twin Cities.
“We believe that something here (Minneapolis-St. Paul) had a chance growing into an institution where we did not believe that such a growth was absolutely possible on Broadway. The over competitive, over stimulated, over crowded nature of the Broadway theatre makes it impossible to take a longer view than Thursday next.” **
In Minnesota, these men found a fertile soil to plant their theatre. Local businesses and foundations donated exploratory money and land. Renowned local architect Ralph Rapson was tapped to provide his forward-thinking concepts to the building, and Tanya Moiseiwitsch designed the thrust stage.,* Public support was profound, and Minnesotans volunteered to boost ticket sales, and raised $2.2 million to establish the project.****

To embellish this point further, Dr. Guthrie gave the following answer to local Minnesota students when asked about the importance of “this kind” of theatre. His reply reveals his heart to inspire.
“Plays are meant to be acted, not dissected in a classroom…Just as a community needs a public library where great books are available, or an art museum where you can see great pictures, or a symphony orchestra where you can hear great music, so you need a theatre where great plays can be brought to life.” *

So we turn to You, Host of History, to remember this moment when a theatre is born. No one but You can write a script eons long, heighten the drama of the human experience, or provide the unexpected denouement of our Christ! Today, we remember You, first, as the Supreme Author and Director of the drama of life. Be forever praised!

We applaud Sir Guthrie’s efforts to establish a beachhead of this art form within the seas of entertainment of the 1960’s. Bravissimo! Has he captured Your heart when he stated, “Plays are meant to be acted not dissected in a classroom…”? We see something very sacred here; when one acts, they are placing their whole being in participation of a storyline while potentially engaging both themselves and their audience very deeply with the virtues of a great script. Engagement through action involves risk. Yet, the potential for learning at a much deeper level, and the rewards of making a brave journey are only known by those who partake. So, we thank You for this moment that sparked this vision in the Guthrie Theatre Company, its patrons and volunteers, and its impact on Minnesota of 1963!

It is apparent that this venture, which has captured the hearts of at least two generations of Minnesotans, had to battle through the seas of modernity. Since the era of movies and television, theatre has been largely monetized. Where can we find a place where “stories for the sake of stories” exist?

Although they can and do exist in live venues, we still and feel the encroaching arms of influencers. Playwrights become famous, often, when they sell their rights to make a movie of their scripts. All kinds of foundations seek writers, directors, dancers, and theatre companies who will bend a story to their liking. Even political and spiritual groups are in on the game; i.e. “we will fund you if you heighten this issue, let’s call it “Issue X”, in the public’s mind through your artistry.” Good G-d, have we moved an inch as artists from being the court jesters, poet laureates, or entertainers of the aristocracy?

But You, our Prophet of Parables, taught us in a similar way except You forsook our purse strings for our heart strings! Help me remember a few, Lord?
The Lamp-Matthew 5:14-16
The Mustard Seed-Mark 4:30-34
The Good Samaritan-Luke10:29-37
The Prodigal Son-Luke 15:11-32
The Sheep, Shepherd, and Gate-John 10:1-18
Though these fables and apologues were given to mostly agricultural Semetic people groups over fifty generations ago; they retain Your genius today for those not familiar with those sub-cultures! Conversely, the Messiah also intersected in parable with the educated and worldly within Israel, and freely spoke with relevance to Arabian, Persian, Greeks, and Romans. You spoke in parables to portray the unspeakable words of our hearts to us. Those not ready to engage with You heard a good story, while those who were found themselves exposed before Wisdom Eternal.

Will You forgive us our judgments past of a man who desired cultural engagement in greatness through the means of the Guthrie Theatre? Will You forgive us our misapplications of artistry, through all aspects of theatre, towards the highest bidder? Will You guide us as playwrights, actors, directors, crew members, costumers to “allow” our audiences to feel rather than emotionally manipulating what they “should” feel? Will You bless Minnesota theatre to go beyond Guthrie’s vision of greatness and into the Messiah’s chesed of heart?

Lord, I leave You with a story, (I’m sure You know it), and a prayer. About a century ago, three children climbed a hill outside Fatima, Portugal; Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. There, they encountered an angel who taught them this prayer. I wonder if it was to buffer the suffering of the Great War? Today I echo this prayer which I amend only slightly.

“My G-d, I believe (in theatre and story), I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I ask for pardon for those who do not believe (in theatre and story), do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.”

P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** O’Neill, Hannah. “An Englishman in Minneapolis: Sir Tyrone Guthrie”. May 12, 2017. Internet. https://www.continuum.umn.edu/2017/05/englishman-minneapolis-sir-tyrone-guthrie/
*** Combs, Marianne. “Architect Ralph Rapson at 91”. September 13, 2005. Minnesota Public Radio. Internet. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/09/13_combsm_rapson/
**** A brief history of the Guthrie.https://www.guthrietheater.org/globalassets/pdf/guthrie_history.pdf
* “Guthrie Theater: Miracle in Minnesota”. (The Minnesota Theatre Company)1963. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkIXv_L3QHQ&t=456s

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20th Century, Architecture, History, Uncategorized

Skyway System Begins

Construction of the Skyway in Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1962. u/mrhistoricalmaniac. https://www.reddit.com/r/minnesota/comments/ihsla5/construction_of_the_skyway_in_minneapolis/

1962
The first Minneapolis skyway is built, linking the Cargill and Roanoke buildings across 7th Street. Eventually, a system of 50 skyways turns much of the downtown area into an enclosed city within a city.*

When futuristic, climate-controlled Southdale Mall opened in 1956, the downtown real estate developers saw “the writing on the wall”, or rather the writing in the sky. Single connections between buildings above ground already had the example of the 17th floor connection between the Merchants Bank and the First National Bank circa 1931 in Saint Paul, MN. ** Architect David Griswold brought that idea down to the 2nd floor, bringing the idea of an interconnected city to a more repeatable and feasible level.

The following synopsis of Griswold’s achievement has recorded by mid-century real estate experts at TCModern.
“It was a simply designed, convenient way to get to the Golden Rule shopping store on (then) Eighth Street (now Seventh Place) and Minnesota street from their parking lot across the street. It was a very basic, crude structure, measuring roughly 8 feet wide with a concrete floor over a metal deck. It also didn’t have heating or air conditioning. It was however a very convenient way to get to and from the store without having to navigate through (at the time) one of the busiest intersections of both trolley lines and pedestrians in the city.” * Following suite to modernize downtown Minneapolis, real estate heavyweight Leslie Parker tapped Minnesota architect Ed Baker to design the first branch of its soon-to-be skyway system ca. 1959. This branch opened in 1962 connecting the Cargill and Roanoke buildings.** (Northstar Center and Northwestern National Bank) Mr. Baker’s design improved upon Griswold’s in its aesthetics and climate-controlled environment. *
Fueled by this success, Parker championed adding more branches in downtown Minneapolis. Within it’s first decade, Parker had built a bridge between Ed Baker and Phillip Glass in the design of the show stopping IDS Center. Moreover, it’s new Crystal Court become the hub connecting beaches of the skyway on all four sides in a dazzling, all-season semi-public space. ****

Though critics have decried the development as the demise of street life, time has shown that this may be a partial truth. Granted, the skyway system grew to encompass 80 city blocks and about 8 miles of connections. Acknowledged, this second-story system competes with street level development, making an indoor or outdoor walk a choice. As early as 1972, city officials and developers noted that this choice also doubled the options for walk-up traffic to small businesses, and raised the price of second floor rents. In the bi-polar environment of the Twin Cities, perhaps, two stories are better than one? *****

Developer of the Cosmos, let me come and join You in Your eternal “right now”. Can I sit by Your fire, and take a load off? Can we chat about this creative moment in the life of Minneapolis? On second thought, I will remain quiet and hear Your thoughts as You are the only Architect and Builder of life in this universe.

The foundation of this time is remembrance, so I remember these specific names to You. Thank You for the imagination of developer Leslie Parker. I won’t judge the motives of his heart, that’s Your job, but I am grateful for a human being that wanted downtown to remain relevant.

By the same token, let’s remember the names of Ed Baker and David Griswold. There is so much about architecture that is an Imitation of Our Father! One must be aware of history, art, aesthetics, engineering, mathematics, and materials to create relevant structures. We thank You for the insights, discipline, and positioning of these men to create these skyways at just the right time.

Additionally, we thank You for the jobs created in all the trades necessary to actualize these visions: steelworkers, riggers, crane operators, to name but a few. We are grateful for the nearly doubling of walkable areas downtown, and the small businesses supported by this foot traffic. It’s a good thing to add the notion of “third spaces” to a growing city. Thank you for these insights!

We have judged the skyways and their creators: in their beauty or lack of it, in utility for downtown renters, as advantageous to major and minor downtown businesses, and in a means of isolating the business class from the urban street level. Will You forgive us in our criticisms in this era of 1962 and through to the present?

Will You forgive our judgment of another’s sense of aesthetics? Will You forgive our judgments of the skyways in relation to downtown residences? Why is it our business if someone else wants to have their home interconnected with and 80 block grid? We have exuded envy that our major or minor workplaces have too little or too much access due to the skyway system, and broken Your command not to covet. Will You forgive us?

Lastly, some of us have judged that this system is inherently classist because it is not entirely public. Conversely, protagonists of the Skyway believe their rights allow them to choose between maintaining privacy, semi-public, or completely public access to the property they own. Will You stand between these parties and help them understand each other, even if they never agree?

In the present, our significant forces in urban planning and city government have suggested removing the skyway system because it only functions for those with access to the system, dear One. This notion makes us think about the wisdom of Solomon in solving his contemporary urban issues in 970-931BCE.

“At that time two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
One woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth while she was in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also had a baby. We were alone, with no one in the house but the two of us. During the night this woman’s son died because she rolled over on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep. She laid him in her bosom and put her dead son at my bosom. The next morning, when I got up to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. But when I examined him, I realized that he was not the son I had borne.”
“No,” said the other woman, “the living one is my son and the dead one is your son.”
But the first woman insisted, “No, the dead one is yours and the living one is mine.” So they argued before the king.
Then the king replied, “This woman says, ‘My son is alive and yours is dead,’ but that woman says, ‘No, your son is dead and mine is alive.’ ”
The king continued, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought him a sword, 25and the king declared, “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
Then the woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she yearned with compassion for her son. “Please, my lord,” she said, “give her the living baby. Do not kill him!”
But the other woman said, “He will be neither mine nor yours. Cut him in two!”
Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. By no means should you kill him; she is his mother.”
When all Israel heard of the judgment the king had given, they stood in awe of him, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.”

Will You impart mercy, clarity of understanding, and wisdom of the proponents and opponents of the Skyways? Will You take these bitter roots: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? May our love for our city cause us to yield to each other rather than extinguish the life that remains! Amen.

P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/first-national-bank-building-skyway
*** http://tcmodern.com/who-was-first-minneapolis-v-s-st-paul-skyway-system/
**** https://frankedgertonmartin.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/the-great-skyway-indoors-in-minneapolis/
***** Nathanson, Iric. Internet. “Minneapolis Skyways”. MNopedia. December 31,2013. https://www.mnopedia.org/structure/minneapolis-skyways
****** Read this wonderful story in full. Kaufman, Sam H . The Skyway Cities. Minneapolis: CSPI, 1985.

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20th Century, Americana, Folk, History, music, Uncategorized

Bob Dylan before his First Album

Bob Dylan Music as a Child. ca. 1953-57. Fizz.net

1961
Hibbing’s Bob Dylan, once a play-for-free minstrel at bars around the University of Minnesota, releases his first album. He takes folk into rock and rock into politics, and becomes a legend of American music. Born Robert Zimmerman, he assumes a new name that pays homage to Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. *

So many words have been spilt attempting to uncover the mystery of Bob Dylan. As an historian of Minnesota, I don’t want to play musicologist, but rather focus on a few early relational aspects of his youth that may have contributed to his character which may have contributed to his epic impact on the 20th century.

Louie Kemp began his friendship with Bob at Herzl Camp near Webster, Wisconsin during their preteen years. To his recollection, he witnessed Zimmerman’s first concert at camp in 1954 as an 11year old. The boys hung out in their teen years around Duluth, Minnesota where Kemp grew up. Dylan played around the U of M when Kemp when in attendance there. He likened their adventures to “a modern-day Jewish version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.” **

Out of respect, let us allow Mr. Dylan to tell his own story of his Minnesota roots.

“My brains and feelings have come from there… The earth there is unusual, filled with ore,” Dylan said in a 1978 Playboy interview. “There’s a magnetic attraction there: maybe thousands of years ago some planet bumped into the land there. There is a great spiritual quality throughout the Midwest. Very subtle, very strong, and that is where I grew up.” ***

Now we turn to You, Adonai, and listen to Your music. You spoke and created. Did the music of Your voice assemble the matter of this universe? Only You know. Yet we remember, today, the place that writing and music has in Your heart! May we sit with You and watch this moment, Eternal Father? May we listen with You to this exciting beginning when You laid the foundation for Bob Dylan’s artistic release?

We remember first the importance of Herzl Camp. A place with the stated goal of the formation of lifelong Jewish friendships. We remember another after Your heart, David, who bound himself to Jonathan “in close friendship”. (I Samuel 18:1-5) We remember this place and thank You for its contribution in bringing root friendships into the lives of many. Will You bless and keep it in perpetuity?

Next, we thank You that friends give us the place to become. When we are safe, when we are accepted, we begin to believe that we have a self worth knowing. What a treasure You put into us; the longing to know and be known! We praise You that these boys, Louie and Bob, could experience this kind of brotherhood.

Additionally, we thank You for the importance of place and context to Your people and Your Kingdom. You made the tabernacle a place to intersect with Your Presence. You rescued Israel from the famine and placed them under Joseph in Goshen. You gave Your nation Canaan and established Jerusalem. And You gave Bob Dylan the context of Hibbing?!

Yet, in Your economy of purpose, it all makes sense; Hibbing is a place of great contrasts. It’s surrounded by silence and the noise of the largest iron mine on earth. It’s both “Anysmalltown, USA” and significant to the world. Maybe it’s like the writing of Dylan: compact, expansive, verbose, but not over-baked in its turns of phrase? Perhaps it’s like Your storytelling: only honesty, robust, mysterious, prophetic, and believable?

In any case, we remember and applaud this memory of Mr Dylan’s first record to You. We thank You of the inheritance and richness brought to Northern Minnesota through the Jews of Lithuania and all Eastern Europe. We commend You for seeing the talent of an 11 year old, in the middle of the woods, next to the largest open pit mine, in the center of a continent.

We thank You that this young poet participated in many of the most significant events of the next decade, but did not lose his identity. For some reason, Dylan could explore subjects that were misconstrued as political, but not yield to the generational political pressures of the Greenwich folk movement or the hippies. Similarly, though critics tried to place him in a religious box, he always seemed to know the secret of the Messiah; faith is an internal freedom and a permanent hat tip to the Eternal One.

Will You forgive the misbeliefs, unbeliefs, and offenses against You through the folk movement of this era? Will You commend the honest questions of this generation, and bring the inward as well as external peace they sought? Only the Messiah can radiate and impart such healing to our stumbling and prideful race because You know our brokenness, yet still CHOOSE to love us.

Will You speak words of life to this generation and the next and the next as You did through Bob? Will You bring chesed through the music of Minnesota?

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” ****

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20th Century, African American, History, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Uncategorized

Rondo Neighborhood Removed

The Place to Be. blackthen.com

1959
Freeway construction passes through established neighborhoods in the Twin Cites. The Rondo neighborhood, long a center of black community life in St. Paul, is razed to make way for Interstate 94. Four hundred houses are condemned and torn down.*

“If New York has its Lenox avenue, Chicago its State street, Philadelphia its Wylie avenue, Kansas City its Eighteenth Street, and Memphis its Beale street, just as surely has St. Paul a riot of warmth, and color, and feeling, and sound in Rondo street.” 
–Earl Wilkins, The St. Paul Echo, September 18, 1926**

Connecting the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul had long been in the minds of local civil engineers. The excerpt below from the MNopedia article by Ehsan Alam sums up their thoughts rather precisely.
“In the 1930s, commuters and city planners began to call for a highway linking the business districts of downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. After World War II, city engineers chose St. Anthony Avenue as the route. This street was located between University Ave and Marshall Avenue, and went all the way to Minneapolis.”***

Yet, that is not the whole story. We find that there is a viable alternative to either Rondo or St. Anthony Avenues that wouldn’t split an existing neighborhood in half. Minnehaha Avenue, now known as Pierce Butler Route, is road that runs adjacent to the rail lines between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Often, the land adjacent to rail lines is already publicly owned, and would suggest that this route may encroach less on neighborhoods and privately owned property. ****

Given these circumstances, one wonders “Why did these cities and Federal Department of Transportation leaders choose to place I-94 through many neighborhoods (including Rondo) instead of adjacent to them?” In any type of city planning or civil engineering events, there are myriads of motives and opinions that compete to be heard. Below, we explore a few hypotheses.

George Herbert Herrold, an engineer and city planner far and away has the most documentation of the City Planning Board of St. Paul, Minnesota. His manuscript covers a 33 year time frame from the start of the Board in 1920 until 1953; just the years that would tell us of their motives, studies, and actions. This research suggests that the city had an interest in eliminating slums. To elaborate, their working definition of a slum constituted a neighborhood with a high percentage of rental properties whose owners did not live in the neighborhood. *

However, what the Board defined as “slums” also was home to the largest African-American neighborhood in St. Paul. Granted, there were some run-down rentals, but there were also a large contingency of fine homes belonging to Rondo’s middle-class residents. Rondo had a population of roughly 30,000 of which about one-third were black, and the remainder composed by Italians, Jews, Native Americans, and a sprinkling of other ethnicities. It is precisely because of Rondo’s diverse assemblage that suspicions of “red-lining” or racist motives arise in criticism of St. Paul’s role in routing I-94 through this neighborhood.******

In contrast, we find evidence that does not support this conclusion. Department of Transportation employees did extensive studies on both alternatives, as they did elsewhere through the Interstate Highway System. Commonly, this looks like engineers doing on-site observations and gathering data: counting cars on every East-West thoroughfare, establishing “desire lines” (i.e. which roads are most preferred), collecting data on rush hour usage, travel times from origin to destination, etc. Of these DOT engineers professor C. Wells of Macalester College states, “the process that they went through would seem to suggest that race had nothing to do with it…”. **** The data collected suggests that the direct route along St. Anthony Avenue was the preferred route, and support for the “northern route” along Pierce Butler and the railway diminished.

As the neighborhood of Rondo saw the writing on the wall, they peacefully protested and gained concessions. According to the research of Mark Simonsen, their focus became the four points listed below.
1. Stay in homes as long as possible.
2. Receive Fair Market Value for homes.
3. Depress the freeway below street level.
4. Requested that they be able to buy new homes anywhere they could afford them. (Open Housing Law)****
Residents won the first three of these requests, but failed to enact the Open Housing Law. In fact, even the city of Saint Paul declined to honor the Open Housing Law within its boundaries. It’s City Attorney denied O.H.L. on the basis that it conflicted with Minnesota’s constitution; sellers could legally choose to whom they sold their property. ****
Shall we pray? Eternal Father, we are reminded of your words of promise today as we sit and watch this snapshot of history that physically divided the Rondo neighborhood with an Interstate.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” Matthew 19:29-30 BSB *
We love that we can always come to You for a hearing, and that Your Hearing and Presence bring justice! Be forever praised!

As a starting point, we acknowledge that You provided two paths for Interstate I-94. We acknowledge that the outcome of following the less disruptive “northern route” may never be known. Yet, there was a solid opportunity to choose a route that had less impact on human lives and relationships. Did we miss You in this? Maybe so. In any case, we acknowledge that we chose the road that wrecked neighborhoods. Will You forgive the seeds of division sown in this moment by the proponents and opponents of running the highway by the railway? Where we judged our neighbor, we have offended You; will You heal the past, free the present, and bless the future in this decision of 1959?

Next, we see the depth of consideration and the data collected to resolve this issue. We remember that the DOT and civil engineers went out into the neighborhoods between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and actually observed where our people drove, how many, and how long it took them to arrive at their destination. Like Your message to the prophet Isaiah, You continually invite us to “come now and reason together”. You are not threatened by our observations, science, data, or investigations!

We thank You that the numbers don’t lie, or in this case, the numbers don’t lie about where we drive; we voted with our wheels. Yet, we fully acknowledge that though “numbers don’t lie”, we are often skewed by our own biases as we interpret them! Will You lift the suspicion of these studies up, out, and onto the Cross? Will You be with us as we reconsider this moment with You?

To continue, we see this data filtered through the distorted looking glass of banking. As a short backstory, we find that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) had created a system of segregation, real ethnic and racial division, and negated facts that challenged their narrative. It is here, if I can be so bold Lord, that I see some of the ugliest acts of racism and ethnocentrism committed in St. Paul of this era. It is a fact that the FHA created maps based on ethnicity and race. It appears that though the FHA commenced with noble pursuits, in reality it fostered and reinforced the racialization of space.

Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! We allowed these dreams of placing a home within reach of all to take a wrecking ball to those deemed not worthy by bureaucrats! We give You the damage caused by our State and Federal government’s judgments contained in the word “slums”. We acknowledge to You all the pain and falsehoods spoken over the residents of Rondo like, “a black family will not be given a home loan west of Lexington Avenue.” We acknowledge the defilement of this land through judgment and counter-judgment: from the Mississippi River to Marion Street, from University Avenue to Marshall Avenue; this land is Your land! Will You take these lies, curses, unbeliefs, and misbeliefs up, out, and onto the Cross?

Conversely, will You speak truth to cursed ears and broken hearts? Will You impart life where it has been crushed and stunted? Will You uproot those who have negated human choice because it interferes with their vision of what “helping” looks like? Will You release Your Holy Spirit, and replace the memory of wrecking balls with “Welcome” mats in this Rondo corridor forever?

“Do not afflict your countrymen, but let every one fear his G-d: because I am the Lord your G-d.” Levitcus 25:17 Douay-Rheims Bible

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20th Century, Culture, History, Shopping, Uncategorized

Southdale: First Modern Shopping Mall in the U.S.A.

Edina, Minnesota, 1950s | Hemmings Daily. blog.hemmings.com

October 3, 1956
Southdale Shopping Center, located in Edina, Minnesota, was the first totally enclosed shopping center in the nation. In 1952, its developers, the Dayton family, long-established Minneapolis department store merchants, commissioned the architecture firm Victor Gruen & Associates to create a new form designed to reflect and serve changing patterns of suburban living. The master plan combined elements of the village green, of European city centers, and of elegant arcades and gallerias, in a constant temperature-controlled enclosure. When Southdale opened in 1956, it included 72 stores, and was anchored by two major department stores, all arranged in a two-level design around a brightly lighted center court. It offered free parking, and its 5000 parking spaces were grouped into lots, well marked by clever symbols to aid in locating one’s own in the sea of cars. Not only did Southdale Shopping Center fulfill the vision of its creators as a center of commerce and of social life for suburban residents, it also fueled suburban growth and became a much-imitated model.*

One of the first questions moderns may have looking back on this event is; why? Why group several businesses together and change the cityscape of a neighborhood filled with individual stores? What is it about Minnesota that catalyzed the concept of indoor, totally-enclosed shopping? Did they really need 5000 free parking spaces when the populations of its host cities of Edina and Richfield were 9744 and 17,502 in 1950? **

Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start, by tapping into the motives behind malls based in the human psyche. Sociologists such as Lev Vygotsky and Homi K. Bhabha could be considered advocates of the “Third Space Theory”. Although this theory applies across many aspects of learning, relationships, and cultures as it pertains to this subject it pertains mostly to place. There seems to be a human need for somewhere to interact beyond home, school, or work; another living room to breathe without judgment. In the words of Southdale’s architect Mr. Gruen, he desired to “provide the needed place and opportunity for participation in modern community life that the ancient Greek Agora, the Medieval Market Place and our own Town Squares provided in the past.” ***

Given that Gruen anticipated Minnesotan’s need for this “third space”, we move to some of the environmental and land usage issues that fostered this indoor, air-conditioned mall. Many travelers have had a small taste of our winters during the holidays, but do they know that the “174 °F or 96.7 °C variation between Minnesota’s highest and lowest temperature is the eleventh largest variation of any U.S. state”? **** Let us assume that people may enjoy “street life” in a range of temperatures from 40-85deg. F; that leaves us with a 51.7deg. range of extremes where they will not congregate. Southdale solved these issues by bringing the town square indoors both in terms of places to rest, interact, and enjoy blocks and blocks of indoor walking.

Lastly, we come to the issue of the automobile; why would Gruen choose to encompass his centrum with seas of parking spaces? While obvious economic motives may be clear, i.e. more shoppers equals more profit potential, the author is reticent to place these motives on Gruen. He, as did the developers of Southdale, recognized that the democratization of transportation represented by the automobile would change the needs and wants of local residents. They may choose to work downtown, but live in new suburbs that gave them better air, more space, and an affordable home. Likewise, many found the idea of shopping closer to their homes in the suburbs desirable. Maybe Southdale’s creators parking rationale went something like this; if we divide the combined populations of Richfield and Edina (27,246) by 5,000, we arrive at a parking space for every 5.44 residents. Is it possible that Gruen wanted every family of five to have access to his “third space” even if they arrived by automobile? Perhaps we will never know that answer, but we do know that this wonder of sociology, architecture, and commerce became the iconic model for shopping malls for a generation. Bravo, Mr. Gruen!

Shall we pray? Father, we are grateful that You made us for community. You sent us the Messiah at just the right time that we could experience an eternal “third space”. We thank You for His sacrifice that satisfied our legal separation from You as the human race. You invite us to know You and to be known in Your Healing Presence!

Let us first ponder the life and struggles of Victor Gruen with You. As a youth he saw the best and worst of Austrian culture: studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, exploring social engineering and sociology, yet seeing the painful betrayal of the Nazi brand of socialism annexing his homeland. Did his urbane and Jewish upbringing combine in his designs? He brought together the forerunning concepts of sociology immersed in a very spiritual need for shabbat in the shopping mall. Though his visions may have never reached his anticipated fruition, we applaud this visionary man so much like His Eternal Father! You push us to the stars, yet You more than anyone desire our rest.

Is it grievous to You, Lord of the Sabbath, that the gift of Southdale has soured in the modern mind? Have we exercised prejudice against the shopping mall? Are we just in our assessments of this icon for suburban life past and present?

In many ways, we have discounted and discredited the 1950’s as a decade of compliance and conformity. Contemporaries mock the innocence of its cultural markers: owning a small suburban house, owning a car, and shopping at a mall. But what if we turn these words around, Spirit? The word “compliance” connotes “obedience to, accordance with, observance of, adherence to, respect for, agreement, assent, consent, concession, concurrence, and acceptance”. Additionally, “conformity” conveys the ideas of “acquiescence in, adaptation to, adjustment to, accommodation to, alikeness, resemblance, and similitude”. Have we judged You insofar as we have condemned our ancestors obedience to You and adaptation to each other?

Conversely, we acknowledge to You the seeds of rebellion sown in the soft rains of suburban life past. As a State and people, we relished the awesome freedom of travel due to the automobile. This wonderful mall gives testimony that we planned cities around it. Ease of commercial activity by car seemed to be an indicator of successful city planning. Neither of these desires counter Your Kingdom’s mores, yet even good desires can ruin us when they are in imbalance.

How does the old campfire song go? “Seek ye first the Kingdom of G-d, and His righteousness. And all these thing shall be added unto you, Alleluia.” You want us to “Halaluyah” (Heb.) “praise ye YHWH”, be in right relationship with Him, and then our desires for things come from a full heart instead of an empty one.

Where we have idolized shopping in this era and the present, when we have used it to overcome the pain of broken human relationships; will You forgive us this offense? We are people who love shiny, new things, and sometimes fail to polish ourselves and our ways of relating to others, and to our Maker. Will You forgive the feast for the eyes that shopping malls past and present represent to us, and its offense of enticement to You?

We invite Your blessing into the way(s) we find what we need. We invite You to direct our paths to our wants and needs. (We must always remember that Our Good Father, enjoys our enjoyment of good things!) Will You bless the buyers and sellers: past, present, and future into chesed? By Your Life, death, and resurrection will You direct us into the “third space”? Over Southdale and all her children, will You write “shabbat”?

“Then Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He declared to them, “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
The blind and the lame came to Him at the temple, and He healed them.” Matthew 21:12-14 BSB

Southdale 1956 Richfield Edina Shopping Mall History Video. You Tube. December 19, 2014. lumberjack1713.
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20th Century, History, Transportation, Uncategorized

Interstate Highway System Begins

1956
Congress authorizes the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Eventually, I-35 and I-94 link urban and rural Minnesota, while metropolitan multi-lanes connect suburb with city, home with work and shopping.*

To understand the largest infrastructure project in American history that began construction on August 13, 1956, one needs to backtrack to the beginning of President Eisenhower’s career. The young Eisenhower observed a convoy of vehicles and made study of their 56 day journey across the breadth of America. These findings pointed to the necessity of an efficient road system for the benefit of American citizens, their businesses, and for our military and national defense.**

Eisenhower’s goal spanned several administrations, numerous studies, and various iterations before it could be fulfilled. The timeline below shows some of the major steps.

National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (1956). http://www.ourdocuments.gov

1922- General John J. Pershing established the the first defensive network using existing roads. It became known as the “ Pershing Map”.


1938- President Franklin Roosevelt gives a hand-drawn map of eight proposed superhighway corridors to Thomas MacDonald; head of the Bureau of Public Roads. Macdonald’s study of these corridors is refined by Herbert S. Fairbank into the first practical study of the interstate highway system entitled “Toll Roads and Free Roads”.

1944- The “ Federal Aid Highway Act” authorized construction of a system approximately forty thousand miles, but did not provide funding.**


1952-1954- President Eisenhower tapped General Lucius D. Clay and the Clay Committee to develop the interstate highway plan. This lead to standardizations of materials, techniques, and designs. It sought to connect all metro areas in the United States with populations exceeding 50,000 people. It also necessitated a Federal Tax on gasoline which provided about 90% of the hefty $25 billion price tag. ($1092B in today’s dollars.)

So now we have a snapshot of what happened nationally, but how did this epic construction project impact Minnesota? We in the Twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul became a very important crossroads for vacationers, and commerce. Interstate 35 connects Duluth, Minnesota and the harbor on Lake Superior with a primary north-south artery of the system connecting with Loredo, Texas; a massive 1556 mile (2504km) corridor. We are also home of Interstate 94. This critical road connects the eastern branch of the Great Lakes in Port Huron, Michigan and terminates in Billings, Montana some 1585 miles (2551km) later. It’s the primary east-west branch of the Interstate system for the northern portion of the U.S.

Now we turn from history-past to addressing our G-d who lives and reigns in the Eternal Present. We remember You, Adonai, and just a few of the ways You made a way and a road for the nation of Israel. I recall how often the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke of roads.

Isaiah
“And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field.” Isaiah 36:2 ESV


“A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3 ESV


“And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” Isaiah 57:14 ESV


“Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples.” Isaiah 62:10 ESV

Jeremiah
“Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16 ESV


“But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway,…” Jeremiah 18:15 ESV


“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities….” Jeremiah 31:21 ESV

(
“In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’”
Jeremiah 50:4-5 ESV

Let us sit awhile with You, and remember that You are the Lord of Logistics. (Sorry we forget about Your miraculous relocation of the nation of Israel: out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through incredibly arid and dangerous climes. Oh, and with the most formidable army in the world in pursuit!? When there is no way, there is Yah’s-way!) You make us alive, and have given every creature some mode of transportation that suits them. Yet, You care about things as practical as our Interstate system in little “flyover” Minnesota. Again, what say You about the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956?

We thank You for the epic dreams of our forbearers: General Pershing, FDR, Mac Donald, Fairbank, and General Clay! Acknowledging their planning and administration, we thank You for the tens of thousands of men and women who realized this vision. We praise You for the music of heavy machinery doing good work: excavators, backhoes, bulldozers, graders, dump trucks, loaders, and rollers! We remember all of those who burned up in the summers, worked in muddles in the spring rains, and froze in the winters. They got the job done, and did it well! We applaud them and Your approval of their efforts begun in 1956!

Our state is more secure in it’s defenses because they laid this road! Our economy is vastly improved because of the increase in interstate trade, and the reduction of the price in transportation costs to the end user of virtually every product or food; some years have seen a 35% increase in local economies because this system exists! Our people have enjoyed the pleasure of freedom of movement: they have seen more beauty through camping and RV travel, they can visit family across the US in a few days, and they do so in safety with easy navigation!

Yet, my mind moves to the spiritual and relational impact of our Interstates. How does this network of roads impact us past? We acknowledge to You the pride of colossal construction. Where have we offended You in this?

To commence, we see the temptations unique to our citizens that come with great freedom. Because it is possible to see more, do more, and trade more; we have too often taken the bait. We have not exercised self-control in our transportation businesses, to and from work, or even on vacation. Something deep in us drives us beyond a reasonable stopping point. Will You take these attachments and idolatries both past and present-tense up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Next, I pray about our ease of movement and its’ disruption of our connection to Your land. How many human and creaturely lives were disrupted because I-35 crossed their paths? How many farms were cut in half? How many animals found their pathways to food or water blocked? How many neighbors were bifurcated by this road eating at least a 272ft wide path through their neighborhood?

Granted Lord, change is neither necessarily good nor bad, but I remember this fact to You; something whole was split in two. For some good reason, You saw fit to give us a yearning for home. Humans everywhere desire a place unique to them and their families. It just seems that the more we move, it may have tainted our desire to stay.
Do we look to “the open road” myths because our hearts have detached from our homes, our friendships and marriages, and inwardly from even ourselves? Do we bustle about to expand the territory of our businesses because we cannot stop on our inward scenic overpass, take in a breathtaking view of our accomplishments, and say “I’m good.”?

Lord, as this fabulous Interstate System is a metaphor for connection, there are are a few declarations I want to pronounce with You over this epoch. By the Cross of Christ, by the Blood of Christ and His Resurrection, and by the Eternal Word I want to declare my agreement with You, Isaiah, and Jeremiah over the entire “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”, from 1956 to the present, and into Your eternal now to ‘join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten’. May the detached coasts inside be connected! Reknit the neural pathways of our minds, drive us to new habits, and bathe us in new ways of thinking! Be the defender of our hearts against evil, and help us take in the beautiful, the good, to put the rag-top down and go crusin’ with You!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** Infrastructure Explained.“The History of the Interstate Highway System”. Internet. You Tube. October 5, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n6g1ypx1PE
*** http://www.learningabe.info/NationalTrail_taskthree.html
**** https://www.transportation.gov/content/federal-aid-highway-act-0
See it in writing? “Transcript of National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (1956)” http://api.mnhs.org/mgg/words/html/custom/highway_act.html
Feel like watching? Check out this reliable source from TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) https://www.tpt.org/interstate-94-a-history-and-its-impact/

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