20th Century, History, Men, Minnesota, Uncategorized, World War II

Minnesota Enters World War II

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December 7, 1941
On the morning of December 7, 1941, members of a Minnesota Naval Reserve Division on the U.S.S. Ward are patrolling the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The crew spots and sinks a midget submarine—the first shots fired by the United States in World War II. An hour later the air attack begins that will draw the U.S. into the war. Private Milburn Henke of Hutchinson, serving with the American Expeditionary Force, will become the first enlisted man deployed to the European theater. *

Carl and Louise Henke had a son August 24, 1918, and they named him Milburn. He grew up in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and partook of the pastimes of boys then: hunting, fishing, working for his father, and playing baseball. Soon, he enlisted voluntarily, and was assigned to “B” Company, 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th “Red Bull” Division which was merged with Iowa National Guard’s “B” Company, 133rd Regiment during training. **

The Red Bulls landed in Belfast on January 26, 1942, approximately one month after Pearl Harbor. Henke was promptly asked to meet with General Russell Hartle. The General inquired if he was willing to speak with reporters. “Well, if I have to, I think I can,” Henke replied. **

A publicity event welcomed him: a cheering crowd, photographers, and reporters. He had to walk down the gangplank six times so that the press could get a perfect shot of the first American soldier to set foot in Europe?! The newspapers and magazines had a feeding frenzy with Henke, but the climax was meeting the Queen and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Though highly publicized, Private Henke served like any G.I. and did his duty. In North Africa, he earned a Silver Star by saving his wounded Lieutenant by dragging him to safety under heavy fire. After liberating Tunisia, Milburn was wounded during preparations for the invasion of Italy. His back was broken when his weapons carrier rolled over onto him. **,***

Such were the sacrifices of these brave Minnesotans and Iowans! Please read this well-researched excerpt from the article “Private First Class Milburn Henke Lands In Belfast, Ireland” by Jason McDonald.
“The 34th Division fought in North Africa and Italy for the entire war, the longest serving unit in the United States Army. Very few of the 4,058 men who landed with Henke were left in the unit in 1945; only seven men who landed in Northern Ireland remained in 1st battalion in 1945.” ***

Lord, I’m so humbled and honored by this recollection of Milburn Henke and his 4,000 brothers that I can barely write. I thank You for the character given to these young men by their upbringing. I thank You for their obedience to do their duty in the face of suffering and death.

It reminds me of Your sacrifice, Father. You let Your son be torn in two by the Roman Empire, the accusations of the Sanhedrin, and the collective blindness of humanity?! Too few can recount the parental sacrifice of Your only Son, and too many are indifferent to Your pain. I include myself, shamefully, to the list.

I do not know if I possess the character to let my children die so the children of strangers can live. If I did, I would want to force my neighbor to remember this sacrifice. Likely, I would driven to rage by irreverence or indifference of the community to my pain.

Will You forgive my irreverence and indifference to the humiliation and public execution of Christ? Will You forgive Minnesota the irreverence and indifference to the humiliations and deaths of these elders from the 34th? Will You give us their strong portion of vigilance so that future generations will have the privilege to experience liberty?

Give us a heart like Henke. When and where conflict arises, let us volunteer to oppose it. Will You bless us to humbly do our duty today? We remember the existential threat World War II presented our State and Nation. We ask that You enable present and future generations to have the same resolve whether given heroic praise or no recognition for their efforts; “Well, if have to, I think I can.”

In parting, we are grateful that You acknowledge our efforts to serve. Like Henke’s story, we give You honor that You can do so much with a single choice! May we choose Your way; grace and truth, resolve and mettle.

“Little Is Much When God Is in It”

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.
Kittie L. Suffield, 1924 ****
* 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.mnmilitarymuseum.org/exhibits/veterans-page/sgt-milburn-h-henke/?ccm_paging_p_b3480=2
*** http://worldwar2database.com/gallery/wwii0193
**** https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Little_Is_Much_When_God_Is_in_It/

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20th Century, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Mining, Minnesota

Cuyuna Range Named 1903

Kennedy-Mine

While surveying his land in the 1880s, Cuyler Adams noticed that the point of his compass was spinning. Over 20 years he explored the area for the underground metals that distracted his compass. He forms the Orelands Mining Company in 1903 and names the range by combining “Cuy” from Cuyler with “Una” after his pet St. Bernard.
The first ore is shipped from the Cuyuna Range in 1911. The 147,649-ton shipment to Duluth-Superior culminates years of searching, digging, flooding, and failing. More mines quickly open on the range, and immigrants from Finland, Italy, and Yugoslavia find themselves in new villages with names like Orelands, Klondike, Steelton, Ironton, Iron Hub, and Iron Mountain.*

What a shock it must have been when Mr Adams’ compass needle started spinning! Did his hair stand on end? Did he calmly and rationally start thinking of possible explanations? Thank you Lord, that this wonderfully odd day in the life of Cuyler Adams was part of Your plan for Minnesota! Thank you for the curiosity You implanted in this man to explore; to seek and find! How many lives were changed by this single moment of the “spinning compass”?

This leads me almost instantly into feelings of remorse for my personal lack of intuition and imagination of Your possible purposes for such odd moments of my life. How many times have You placed me into a potential moment of discovery, and my response is to blame the defective spinning compass in my hands? My rational mind is often the killer of opportunity! I find myself in analysis paralysis, instead of simply continuing the process of looking for answers like Cuyler! Will You forgive this blockage to Your eureka moments?

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Cuyler Adams

http://mississippivalleytraveler.com/cuyuna-iron-range/

This discovery acted as a catalyst for the movements of people and cultures from across the world to northern Minnesota. What was your purpose in this? Why is this ore important other than its obvious applications to industry? In any case, I thank You for using this valuable resource to facilitate the meetings and intermingling of peoples from Finnish, Italian, Yugoslavian, and Native Minnesotan cultures! You provide us with innumerable introductions to those of other cultures, and yet You do not force our hand in how we respond! You are the perfect travel agent!

I say thanks this day for the blessings and benefits of iron ore, and any of its other common metallurgical applications! Good Father, what a great medium You allow your people to play with?! What a useful material to bless past, present, and future generations!

Yet, as with any technology, it must be subject to self control. We used mountains of metal in World War I from this mine to assert our political will! We have beaten our plows into swords, and still we continue to do so! Will You forgive our defiant uses of natural resources? Will You help us learn to sidestep political manipulations into war? Will you forgive our resentment, hatred, and fear of others that germinates into the seeds of death? Will You mature our response to the spirits of accusation, provocation, and offense?

Will You also forgive our tragedies based on trust of our knowledge? We study and learn, which is good. But we often allow our knowledge to cloud our judgments! We do not retain a sense of scientific humility and curiosity. We often rely on our observations, and find that they are sadly based on a minuscule understanding of the natural world. For example,

“At the height of the mining, the Cuyuna Range was the location of the worst mining disaster in Minnesota, the Milford Mine disaster.[1] On February 5, 1924, a new tunnel was blasted too close to nearby Foley Lake, and water rushed in, killing 41 miners.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyuna_Range

Will You forgive how we have hurt our fellow man, and Your world as a result of our miscalculations and arrogance? Lord have mercy! Will You remember our successes, our faithful and bold risks to grow and learn, and the ways we’ve sought to better the lives of others and ourselves?

*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!

**A very readable resource on Cuyuna with brief bios by author Dean Klinkenberg.
http://mississippivalleytraveler.com/cuyuna-iron-range/

***A wonderful read on Mr. Adams! https://ipeopleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/1922-mining-engineer-cuyler-adams/

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19th Century, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government

Beltrami County Formed

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Feb 28, 1866
Beltrami County was formed.*

A seemingly simple note in history. A county is born, but what makes this place unique, Lord? Why is it special in the history of my state? It’s the headwaters of the great Mississippi, supplies drinking water for a quarter of Minnesota, supports hundreds of species of animals, and gives witness to approx. 10,000 years of human history. http://mississippiheadwaters.org/History.asp

Some of the land Beltrami County sits upon was originally Ojibwe (Chippewa) land. “Home to the federally recognized Red Lake Band of Chippewa, it is unique as the only “closed reservation” in Minnesota. In a closed reservation, all land is held in common by the tribe and there is no private property.” Charles Brill (1992). Red Lake Nation: Portraits of Ojibway Life, University of Minnesota Press, p. 19. ISBN 0-8166-1906-9
Will You direct my thoughts and prayers today for this peoples’ influence on this event?

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This county is named after the Italian count Giacomo Beltrami. He explored the area ca. 1825 and claimed to have discovered the headwaters of the Mississippi. After more years of adventures and travels he wrote his memoirs, but could not get them published by the Church-led government of Italy. What, if any, prayer points does this bring to the fore? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Beltrami

First, I will give thanks for the gift of this river; the Mississippi. What would Minnesota be without it? It has given so much to so many: a 2300+ mile waterway, massive hunting and fishing grounds, thousands of years of drinking water, and immense beauty! May we forever remember this blessing from You, and be honorable stewards of it!

Next, I commend the Ojibwe-Chippewa Nation to You. I remember their choice to live in common, a huge commitment to trusting relationships most moderns will not dare undertake.You entrusted them with the gift of the Mississippi, and they did not withhold this treasure from Beltrami. http://www.sciencebuzz.org/blog/would-you-trust-your-life-red-umbrella

Lastly, I observe this lesson from this snippet of Minnesota history; the debt of gratitude is like a great river. Minnesota owes a debt of thanks to Italy, who owes a debt of gratitude to Giacomo Beltrami who owes a debt to the Ojibwe, who owe a debt to their forebearers, yet we all owe a perpetual debt of honor to the King of the Universe. As long as there is time, may this river of remembrance and honor never cease to flow and refresh! 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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