20th Century, Americana, Architecture, Business, Energy, History, Minnesota, Uncategorized

Foshay Tower

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1929
Wilbur B. Foshay builds a 32-floor headquarters for his utilities empire in downtown Minneapolis. The Foshay Tower is the tallest building in Minnesota for half a century.
The stock market crash, scarcely a month after the tower’s dedication, puts an end to Foshay’s fortune and the giddy speculation of the 1920s. The next year, the tower is put on the auction block. There are no buyers.*

Foshay was a vigorous young man who started as a gas pipefitter and electrician. By 1916, he worked his way up to owning a public utilities holding company. (A holding company is created to buy and possess the shares of other companies, which it then controls.) *** “By 1928, he was a prosperous man, at least on paper. His company owned utilities in thirty states, the then-territory of Alaska, Canada, and Central America.” **

“Foshay built the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which opened in August 1929. In 1932 he was convicted of conducting a “pyramid scheme” with shares of his own stock. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. President Franklin Roosevelt commuted 10 years from Foshay’s sentence, but Foshay only actually served three years in Leavenworth because of “good behavior.” President Harry Truman granted Foshay a full and unconditional pardon in 1947.” ****

What do You wish to say through Foshay’s tower story, Eternal Father? Let us listen and reflect with You, and more completely know Your heart. What is it that You affirm about this man and his age, and what is it that You wish to correct?

To begin, I see a man who started simply working hard in the field he loved; providing utilities. It seems to fit his character as an entrepreneur and a man of enthusiasm. Was it this same vitality that created the conditions for his downfall?

Like Foshay, we are drawn to play to our strengths, but sometimes are blinded by our own glory. We lose our ability to harness our zeal, and do not operate with the self- control required to better use our giftings. Will You forgive Foshay the excesses of his spiritedness against Your will? Will You forgive us where we resist You today, not yielding an inch to be called out of the comforts of our best attributes if it means humbling ourselves before You or others?

Conversely, will You forgive the judgements of Foshay’s detractors? Will You forgive any jealousies of his competitors in public utilities? Will You forgive those who modeled or endorsed the corrupt practices of his “pyramid scheme”?

All of us, high to low, have fallen prey to greed at some level. Men like Foshay inflate the value of their stock, bankers and politicians hide debt by devaluing currency, and the poor commit fraud against all kinds of social services overdrawing on the charity of society. We have negated fair rules and have sought a deck stacked for us and against our neighbor; have mercy!

All of us, low to high, have taken the bait of envy. We have made ourselves look better than we really are, and have underscored the flaws of our equals to get ahead. Will You forgive us this debt to give honor back to our peers? Will You forgive our lack of gratitude for our competitors, or the awareness that You have uniquely positioned them (by Your wisdom) in our lives?

Regardless of internal motives, we acknowledge the work of Mr. Foshay, and the iconic tower still bearing his name. We are grateful that You understand us: whether we build empires with bad hearts, or have a poor work ethic with good hearts. We honor Your acceptance as the highest tower over our city. You are the Master Builder. Amen!

And then he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat drink and be merry.” ‘
But G-d said to him, ‘You fool! this very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward G-d.” ***** Luke 12:16-21 NIV

* 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!
** An excellent summary of Foshay’s life by Britt Aamodt. http://www.mnopedia.org/person/foshay-wilbur-1881-1957
*** https://www.bing.com/search?q=definition+of+holding+company&form=APMCS1&PC=APMC
**** Excerpt from the Salida, Colorado museum where Foshay palyed a key role in the Chamber of Commerce after pardon. https://salidamuseum.org/history/wibur-foshay/
***** http://biblehub.com/context/luke/12-16.htm

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20th Century, Agriculture, Business, History, Minnesota

A Jolly Green Giant in MN

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1928
Described by Advertising Age as “a fugitive from a Grimm’s fairy tale,” a hulking green giant becomes the symbol of the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in Le Sueur. The giant gets jollier and more handsome as time goes on. *

To provide some backstory, the Minnesota Valley Canning Company was born of the collaboration of 14 merchants in LeSeur, Minnesota in 1903. They initially only sold Early June peas, but sought to market a new variety of a much larger and sweeter pea from England around 1925. “At the time, the company couldn’t legally trademark the name Green Giant to describe the peas, so they created a mascot named Green Giant and sold the new type of peas under that name.” **

We thank You for humble beginnings. We thank you for the vision of the originators of Minnesota Valley Canning Company; canning vegetables means more people can access them. We also are grateful for the introduction of the “Green Giant” variety of peas to the diet of Minnesota and much of North America.

We give You thanks for the technology of canning and vacuum packing! Canning existed long before the MVCC, Louis Appert of France by 1809 had invented a way of sealing cooked food in jars that fed their armies during the Napoleonic Wars.*** Yet, Green Giant would supply multitudes with vegetables that: kept for years, traveled well, were affordable, and quick to prepare.

Further, icons connect our heads to our hearts; we comprehend information and feel its’ meaning. We remember, Jesus Christ, that Your storytelling, parables, and use of imagery taught both the minds and hearts of mankind. For example, Jesus confronted the religious folks of his day and their masks. He confronted the idea of doing the right things with a wrong heart.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” **** Matthew 23:25,26 NLT

So, we give You thanks for the humble tin can and its’ inner cleanliness. (Will You clean us on the inside, too, so we don’t spoil quickly?) We give You thanks for those farmers, packers, and owners who sought to serve their neighbors vegetables through a tin can made famous by a Green Giant! Amen!
* 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!
** http://mentalfloss.com/article/75472/11-hulking-facts-about-green-giant
*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canning
**** http://biblehub.com/matthew/23-26.htm

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20th Century, African American, History, Minnesota

Credjafawn Social Club Forms

Unknown

Oct 16, 1927
The Credjafawn Social Club was formed the evening of October 16, 1927, by ten young adults who sensed the lack of social activities for persons in their age bracket. The name was devised from a letter out of each of the names of the ten charter members.

Although conceived as a social/recreational club, the Credjafawns initiated some outstanding projects of importance for the Twin Cities Black community—opening a cooperative food outlet and a credit union, offering college scholarships, and working to integrate hotels.

What a pleasure to hear of this group of African-American teens committing themselves to each other, and in writing no less!?! How insightful of them to be proactive with their concerns and wants. They refused to be bored because they realized that they had the power to make and attain goals!

We thank thank You for this example of covenant (contractual) relationships in St. Paul. Your Word underscores the importance of covenant: Noahic, Abramic, Mosaic, Davidic, and Messianic. We remember Credjafawn today, and ask Your blessing on Minnesota’s teens to replicate such committed covenant friendships, then, now, and always.

We thank You for their example to the ages! This group of young adults, at first, just wanted something fun to do and a group to do it with. We do not diminish the need or importance of fun. Perhaps it was this happiness and contentment, well ordained by You, that gave them the inspiration to better the lives of others? We commend to You their accomplishments: in providing healthy food through a co-op, in lending through their credit union, in impacting the marketplace through integration, and enabling higher education through scholarships!

G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we remember today that You, though G-d of gods, chose to commit in writing to human beings. Every commitment of friendship You have made to the human race has, is, and will be kept! We scarcely can entertain the thought that, though Infinite, You have humbled Yourself to relate to us so very personally. How do I grasp that the King of the Universe has committed himself in writing, to be forever remembered, to me?

Will You forgive us our preoccupation with ourselves? We are bowled over when we focus on the problems of society on our own. Will You forgive the fears, loneliness, and passivity of teens? Will You forgive us the parental roots of these sins, and our failure to have an answer for the longings of our youth?

Will You give us the grace to establish committed relationships? Will You give us the desire to live for the betterment of others? Will You remove our blindness caused by having so many focal points that we can’t see the one friend we can bless today? Will You bless Minnesota with Credjafawnic Covenants, so we also will bless our generations?

“Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.” Ezekiel 16:60 NASB******

* 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!
**”The Power of Education” by Patricia Anita Young. https://saintpaulalmanac.org/saint-paul-stories/people/the-power-of-education/
***”Commemorating Cradjafawn Co-op” by Matt Frank. http://msmarket.coop/2018/02/commemorating-credjafawn-co-op/
****Credjafawn impact on the Rondo neighborhood of Saint Paul, MN. “Rondo Neighborhood, St. Paul” by Ehsan Alam. http://www.mnopedia.org/place/rondo-neighborhood-st-paul

*****”Five Great Bible Covenants” by David Padfield. http://www.padfield.com/2004/covenants.html
******http://biblehub.com/ezekiel/16-60.htm

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20th Century, History, radio, Technology, Uncategorized

First Radio Station in Minnesota

Nov17-2

1922
Minnesota has its first radio station, WLB—later KUOM—at the University of Minnesota.*

As a background, I cite this article by Rebecca Toov posted January 13, 2016 on the University of Minnesota’s Archivist Blog.
“In 1912, Professor Franklin Springer began experimenting with wireless telegraphy – the sending and receiving of coded messages through electromagnetic waves – in the laboratory of the Department of Electrical Engineering. By 1914, the department offered coursework in “Radio Signaling Apparatus” and “Radio Transmission” and regularly conducted broadcasting experiments using the wireless equipment.

Cyril M. Jansky, Jr. joined the department as an instructor in 1920 and obtained an experimental license to operate a radio station on campus under the call letters of 9XI in March of that year. Engineering students – the station operators – broadcasted daily market and weather reports, musical programs, and play-by-plays of home football games.

On January 13, 1922, the University station was granted a full license to operate under the call letters WLB. In 1925, space was afforded for a radio studio in a newly constructed Electrical Engineering building which was outfitted with furniture and equipment in 1926.” **

I begin this prayer in remembrance of those whom the world owes a debt of gratitude for their pioneering radio research: Guglielmo Marconi, Heinrich Hertz, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Lee de Forest, and Alexander Stepanovich Popov. I include and commend Franklin Springer and Cyril M. Jansky in this list for their impact on the communication of Minnesotans. I thank You today for the inspiration and perspiration of these Your creative children. I see Your glory in their captivation and curiosity with Your inventions; frequency and the electromagnetic wave.

We thank You for the connections that KUOM provided in this era for Minnesotans. We thank You for this demonstration of the vistas of human relations that are unlocked with this single advancement in technology! Will You bless these men, their generations, and their creativity? Will You bless: the University of Minnesota, its’ Electrical Engineers, and future students inventing technologies for which we currently have no name?

Receive eminence today in all frequencies! You daily surround us like the atmosphere, bombarding us with wavelengths of faith, hope, and love. Yet, we have judged You because they are are as imperceptible to us as radio transmissions without a radio. Will you give us the gift of turning our radio on? May the citizens of this State forever tune into You so that we may send and receive Your signals!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what G-d has prepared for those who love him”… 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

 

* 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!
**https://www.continuum.umn.edu/2016/01/radio-history/

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19th Century, Art, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Oscar Wilde Speaks in Twin Cities

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“Hear no evil, speak no evil-and you’ll never be invited to a party.” Oscar Wilde

Mar 15, 1882
The quotable Oscar Wilde takes his American lecture tour to the Twin Cites. The young Irish writer’s affected speech and knee breeches fail to impress local newspaper reporters who label him an “Ass-thete.” “Speaking at the Opera House, his subject “”was ‘art,’ consisting of a sort of lament that there was so little ‘art,’ especially in this country…. He was shocked by our buildings, by the mud in the streets, and especially by the rooms and furniture in the hotels…. The lecture was well worded, and at times quite poetical. It was certainly harmless and does not entitle Mr. Wilde to either abuse or ridicule. It was simply the smooth sentences of a languid poet, which strike the ear somewhat melodiously without arousing any overwhelming enthusiasm or creating sufficient excitement in the listener to cause him or her to burst a blood vessel.””
-St. Paul Daily Globe, March 17, 1882″

Lord, thank you for poetry and writing! Thanks for the “music of the spheres” and of the universe of words! Thank You for the talents of Oscar Wilde! How You must enjoy Your audacious children, especially Mr. Wilde?!
We often love our heroes, perhaps even worship them, and then are disappointed when to find out they’re human. Was this the case when Wilde toured here? Lord, will You forgive the artists and writers of Minnesota any judgments of Mr. Wilde? Will You forgive his assessments of our state, art, and writers? In any case, may we grow in forbearance to appreciate the creators of this world, and to see Your light in their talents though they stretch our provincial aesthetics?
Lord, I confess that we as a people love to put artists on a pedestal. We invest lots of time, energy, and treasure in those who move us. I believe You are the first artist, and that those who are talented in that arena move us because they wake our slumbering spirits. Jesus, we have made artistic brothers and sisters into gods. Will You forgive us this offense? Will you bless the artists of this state, their generations, and their creations?

Note: I once was a member of a much-beloved local band called “Romantica”. Check out the link to hear their tribute to Oscar Wilde?
https://romantica.bandcamp.com/track/oscar-wilde

*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!

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19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics

Hubbard Becomes Governor

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Jan 10, 1882 to Jan 5, 1887
Lucius F. Hubbard becomes the state’s 9th governor on January 10, 1882.

Hubbard forcefully urges government intervention in public health, corrections, charities, railroads, agriculture, and commerce, and the legislature complies by increasing the state’s regulatory and licensing powers. His second term lasts three years, in accordance with a state constitutional amendment to have state, county, and federal biennial elections all coincide. Hubbard County, established in 1883, is named in honor of him.*

Lord Jesus, what do You think of government force and intervention? Emotionally, I am grieved when I read of “government intervention”, but maybe I’m imbalanced in that skepticism. Intercession is also a form of intervention, and I’m not skeptical of that, or of Your example through Christ. ^(see Hebrews 7:25 link) Help me see what You see, gather more information, and guide my prayers.
First, I thank You for the blessings of the governorship of Lucius F. Hubbard. May You bless Him, his generations, dwellings, and property with grace and truth. Will You bless the real, the good, that he envisioned in guiding the state of Minnesota?
Next, will You cover over any sins he may committed against You or our people through the extension of governmental authority? Lord, so often we try to manage our lives, our environments, and others through control. We take away the decision making power of others’ when it is deemed unwise, unjust, or even simply unpleasing to us. We put up barriers, often unnecessarily, to even the expressions of others opinions before we clearly understand them. Lord have mercy on our impatience to clarify! Christ have mercy; we can be too quick to judge!
Eternal Father, Eternal Mother, Eternal Savior, Eternal Counselor hear this petition: Forgive our lack of understanding that willful force quashes the good message, the life-giving message You have planted in our brothers’, our sisters’ , our mothers’, and our fathers’! We often centralize and streamline decision making because we are fearful, or do not want equal relationships with others. Make us a humble, respectful, honest, and understanding people. May our leaders reflect the graciousness and truthfulness of Your nature!

*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!
^http://biblehub.com/hebrews/7-25.htm

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19th Century, Business, Civics, Exploration, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Transportation

Hill’s 1st Railroad 1879

00902018

James J. Hill and his Canadian partners buy the near-bankrupt St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and rename it the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba. This is the beginning of the railroad career that will earn Hill the title “Empire Builder” and cement the importance of the Twin Cities as a commercial center.

Hill’s career didn’t begin with railroads. He came to Minnesota at age 18, convincing a steamboat man to hire him as a clerk. From making sure freight reached the right people, he expanded into handling freight by boat, stagecoach, and wagon. By the time his empire was built, he was one of the nation’s leading industrialists.

In 1891 James J. Hill will crown his success by building a house at 240 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. As massive and well-built as its owner’s railroad empire, the mansion will take three years to build and cost $931,275.01, furnished.*

Lord, thanks that You deal with us so patiently. You allow us to learn from our errors and seek You for mercy and truth. Thank You for the blessings of James J. Hill and his railroads. However, we still feel the weight of the curses aimed at his business! He was alleged to be duplicitous in his business dealings. He allegedly manipulated land grants or sales from cities, tribes, states, and the nations of Canada and the United States. He may have wreaked havoc on the stock market in his battle with Harriman of the Union Pacific line. He was said to be cursed by farmers across the nation for his punitive charges for shipping commodities.

Lord, You are the righteous ruler and justice of North America. Will You remove the curses we have laid on James J. Hill? Will You forgive his debts to the people of North America? Will You forgive us our injustices and betrayals of Your trust? We kill and covet and build empires in our hearts’. We plunder our enemies in our thoughts, and do not see our brothers and sisters as precious lives that You died and rose for! Have mercy on us: the ambitious, the coward, the sluggard, and the average! Remove the curses brought on us, our generations, the land, the property, and our homes both now and until Your return! May the pathway of this railway become a track of blessing to both Manitoba and the Twin Cities! Amen!

*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!

 

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