20th Century, Environment, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Uncategorized, Weather

Tornado Kills 11 in Mankato

M.17.F.3.A Packet 113

August 15, 1946
A tornado kills eleven and injures sixty individuals in Mankato and North Mankato, and a second tornado injures 200 people in Wells an hour later.*

A little know fact about the United States is its distinction of the greatest volume of tornadoes on the planet, and also the most severe. June and August, historically, are the worst months for the Midwest and Southern Canada. During this season, the animus for these storms are humid warm fronts from the Gulf of Mexico mingling with colder and drier ones from the Rockies. Minnesota is situated on the northern edge of this region infamously known as Tornado Alley. ***

The twister that struck Mankato, North Mankato, and Wells on this day apparently only lasted for a “couple minutes”. Most trees were leveled, and those left standing were stripped bare like telephone poles. Cars parked in the town were blown roughly 50 yards into the ravine of the railway. Even a 27 ton grader blew into this gorge, and the whole tangled mess stopped rail traffic. ****

An anomaly of any tornadic system is the randomness of its damage, and this storm in 1946 was no different. For example, a prominent structure downtown, the Oran building, was totaled, but those attending a birthday party there, remarkably, all escaped injury. Conversely, the Melvin family turkey farm lost 4,000 birds. The body of a Mr. Wirig of Mankato was found over a half mile from where the storm hit his resort cabin. ****

According to the testimony of first responder Donald Wold, he hadn’t seen “anything like this since I fought the Germans in France”, and “people were lying everywhere”. Scrambling to accommodate the injured, a bread truck driver used its racks to haul 7 people to the hospital in Mankato. Two alert utility workmen shut the power grid down, and were later credited with saving many structures from electrical fires.*****

Those involved in the clean-up demonstrated resolve and resourcefulness typical of Minnesotan’s. Area small towns sent anyone who could help out. Local farmers used their tractors to “push and pull” as needed. The cities of Faribault and Blue Earth sent their street departments and highway construction departments to clear debris and begin the rebuild.******

Lord, we thank You for the light and dark of this event. You are Master of our Environment. You ordain and use weather according to Your purposes and the survival of the planet. You are Master of the soothing summer breeze in Honiara, the Arabian sirocco, the Scottish snell, the icy gales of Everest, and this Midwestern tornado of Mankato. Will You give us insight, Dear One, we struggle to comprehend the good You intend?

Forgive the judgments made against You in the aftermath of this storm. Will You specifically release those from Mankato, North Mankato, and Wells whose responses may have offended You? Will You forgive those who may have clung to their pain unable to look up? We can’t see Your purpose when a human body is flown a half mile in the wind. We fail to grasp the utility of the uneven attack of this storm; why does one family lose its’ flocks while another cheats death?

This prayer moves us to ponder the cries of the qoheleth, most likely written by King Solomon who was reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived.
“Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:2,3 NIV *******
Later, Solomon adds an insight into the relationship we have with our planet.
“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4 NIV *******
He described the limits of human understanding nine times in his book as a “chasing after the wind”.

At first glance, this may seem one of the most hopeless books ever written. It is even darker because of the amazing learning and success of Solomon. “If the man who has it all can’t be happy”, one wonders, “who can”?

Yet he leads us to a clue in his phrases. Everything under the sun is meaningless, and a chasing after the wind. But what exists above the sun? What is unlimited by the laws of nature and the universe, but its Creator?

So we invite You into this tragedy past. Bring Your meaning. Bring Your life. We did not yet understand You on August 15, 1946, nor do we grasp the depth of Your purpose now. Come and bless Minnesota with Your Presence; may we sense that which is beyond our senses, and accept that there is more than than right now. May we stop “chasing after the wind”, look up, and find Eternal Wisdom after the storm!

* 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!
** “Aftermath of the August 17, 1946 tornado in Mankato, Minnesota.”
http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/largerimage.php?irn=10291189&catirn=11126964
*** https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/summaries_and_publications/tornadoes.html
**** Beitler, Stu. “The Evening Tribune”. Albert Lea, Minnesota. 1946-08-19 pg1 http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/18697/mankato-wells-mn-tornado-aug-1946?page=0%2C3
***** Beitler, Stu. “The La Crosse Tribune” Wisconsin. 1946-08-18 pg1 http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/18697/mankato-wells-mn-tornado-aug-1946
****** Beitler, Stu. “The Evening Tribune”. Albert Lea, Minnesota. 1946-08-19 pg3 http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/18697/mankato-wells-mn-tornado-aug-1946?page=0%2C3
******* https://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/1-2.htm

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20th Century, Civics, History, Intercession, Leadership, Minnesota, Politics

DFL Formed

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Apr 15, 1944
The Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) is created on April 15, 1944, when the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer-Labor Party merged. Hubert H. Humphrey is a driving force behind the merger of Democrats and Farmer-Laborites, but he turns down the new party’s nomination for governor.*

Going first to the source, the DFL website, we find that “Hubert H. Humphrey was instrumental in the merger and is considered by many to be the founder of the Minnesota DFL Party.”** Given the ubiquitous presence and success of the DFL in the current era, one can easily wonder: “What kind of rift existed between Democrats and the Farmer-Laborites back then? And “What was it about Humphrey’s leadership that helped to bridge this gap?” Below is a succinct history of the birth and early years of the DFL party in Minnesota as told by Minnpost author Iric Nathanson.***

“The 1944 merger was the result of a complex interaction of domestic and international political forces that created an unholy alliance between Robert Hannegan, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Earl Browder, the head of the U.S. Communist Party.

In 1944, World War II was still underway.  The Russians were allied with the United States in an effort to defeat the Nazis, and the Communist Party believed that its short-term interests were best served by aligning with the Democratic Party and supporting the Roosevelt administration’s war effort.  That position would soon change, but in 1944 it was the party line.  Browder directed his followers in Minnesota’s Farmer Labor Party to support the merger, and they did as they were told — albeit somewhat reluctantly.
Browder’s position also influenced left-leaning Farmer Laborites who were aligned with the Communists in a movement known as the Popular Front.

While Browder was supporting the merger for his own purposes, Hannegan was looking ahead to the 1944 presidential election. The DNC chairman feared the prospect of losing Minnesota to the Republicans if the forces on the left were split here, so the merger was very much in his party’s interests as well.”***

So, we see a marked distinction between the Democrats and Farmer- Laborites at the national level as to who would be their source of authority, Washington or the international Communist Party, but what were the crucial factors at the local level? One could argue that age played a role; former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale stated that Humphrey, himself, and the young Democrats were mocked as “the Diaper Brigade”.**** According to retired Metro State University professor Tom O’Connell, the counter-punch was that the FLP had “grown long in the tooth”, ie. too old.

O’Connell offers another brilliant opinion as to the basis of this divide; the FLP was a response to the Great Depression while the liberal Democrats around Humphrey were shaped by World War II.**** This observation rings true because of the incredible contrasts Minnesotans’ experienced during these two ages. Children of the 1920’s and 1930’s remembered: scarcity of food, bankruptcy, chronically unemployed parents, Wall Street and the Federal Government fighting to win economic control while the average family loses. Granted, the 1940’s war generation also grew up with wants and rationing, but look at what they gained: opportunity to serve in the military, opportunity for nearly unlimited hours of employment for people from all walks of life, and a state and nation rallying together to triumph over the enemy.

Young liberals maintained control of the party for the next few years, but lost momentum in 1946 to the FLP. Balance returned in the 1948 DFL convention in Brainerd. Though controlled by the Humphrey wing initially, the left wing eventually bowed out, and held its own convention. Though they produced a list of electors, they lost their slate to Humphrey’s in a decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court.****

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Humphrey gained momentum with his strong anti-segregation speech at the DNC’s national convention of 1948. This famous oratory cinched adding a civil rights plank to the party’s platform. Below is an excerpt that crystalizes his vision for a post-war Minnesota, America, and the world at large.

“Yes, this is far more than a party matter. Every citizen has a stake in the emergence of the United States as the leader of the free world. That world is being challenged by the world of slavery. For us to play our part effectively, we must be in a morally sound position.
We cannot use a double standard for measuring our own and other people’s policies. Our demands for democratic practices in other lands will be no more effective than the guarantees of those practiced in our own country.”*****

We turn our thoughts to You now Lord; may we sit with You and watch this history? We love that You simultaneously are the most responsible leader in the universe, and also the most empathetic! We love that the government of eternity is on Your shoulders because You are omnipotent; infinitely capable. Will You lead us in our intercession for these events, and bring Your Healing Presence into them?

Remarkably, the first thoughts that come to my mind are from a speech by internationally-acclaimed bass player Victor Wooten. A core point of his talk was that music is a language, and we should pass it on in the same way as we teach our young ones our mother tongue; by living with them. Language is caught first, and taught later. Our parents look us in the eye, babble with us, talk to us, listen to us, and model a lifestyle.******

Many of our divides, Adonai, seem to commence at this same point. We are like parents who suck all the color and joy out of a our child’s initial passion for music by making it a chore. We don’t let them discover music through time with their instrument, but instantly burden them with sheet music, scales, and music theory. We do not take time to make music with them, but rigidly set a timer on the piano and say, “Don’t stop practicing until the buzzer goes off!”

Blessed and Holy Ruler, does this apply to April 15, 1944, and the politics of this era? We have tried, in the same breath, to have a political conversation and dominate a political conversation. We have spoken and written, concurrently, that the rules matter and that the rules don’t matter. We have practiced, simultaneously, to both respect boundaries, and disavow boundaries when they interfere with the goals of our revolution. We have looked outwardly for societies evils and put our hand on the heads of its scapegoats to transfer our sins and pain outwardly to them. We have not contemplated our own inward incompleteness that fuels our drive to power.

In all this, as Democratic and Farmer-Laborite Minnesotans, have deeply sinned against You. We have judged our neighbor as coming up short, but not ourselves! We have attempted a coup d’etat to usurp Your rightful position as Head Justice of the Universe, and have separated from justice in the process. We have offended You, and Your sacred image within our neighbor. Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on we sinners!

We continue, giving thanks, for the light and healing that began to heal this breach between liberals and progressives on April 15, 1944 and the years that followed. We thank You for those who let young people into the political process. We thank You for those who, in forbearance, overlooked their moments of overzealous energy, failure to understand parliamentary procedure, or arrogance and disrespect towards the Party’s elders. We invite Your blessings on us as a people; will You help and cause us to mentor our youth into wisdom, and active participation in leadership?

Moreover, we thank You thank You have given people eyelids, but not earlids! Hear our acknowledgement of those who listened to their beloved political enemies! We applaud those who heard the empty bellies of the Great Depression survivors and gave ear to the dawning rally cries of the generation of World War II! We bless this virtue of acknowledgement in Humphrey, and ask for leadership like his in the Midwest, both present and future tense, that tempers strong vision with a listening heart. May we rediscover the music of civil discourse, and the gratification of discovering our place in the song of Minnesota! May it be so!

“making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;” Proverbs 2:2 ESV

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.dfl.org/about/dfl-history/
*** https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2008/02/political-warfare-looking-back-early-dfl-caucuses/ citing Nathanson, Iric. “Political warfare: Looking back at early DFL caucuses.” Minnpost. Internet. 4 February 2008.
**** https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2019/09/as-the-dfl-marks-its-75th-anniversary-do-the-partys-farmer-labor-roots-still-mean-anything/ Callaghan, Peter. “As the DFL marks its 75th anniversary, do the party’s Farmer-Labor roots still mean anything?” Minnpost. Internet. 18 September 2019.
***** http://www.mnhs.org/library/tips/history_topics/42humphreyspeech/transcript.php
****** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zvjW9arAZ0 Wooten, Victor. “Music as a Language: Victor Wooten at TEDxGabriolaIsland”. YouTube. 29 May 2013.
******* https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+2%3A2&version=ESV

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19th Century, Americana, Boys, Girls, History, music, Uncategorized

The Wise May Bring Their Learning

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hymnary.org

 

Written by an unknown author, this hymn was likely American in origin, and aimed towards children. It is from an 1881 hymnal titled “The Book of Praise for Children”. In it, I hear the simple yet profound voice of Christ. May we ever treasure the innocence of children, and remember its value to our Maker!

“The wise may bring their learning,

The rich may bring their wealth,

And some may bring their greatness, And some bring strength and health;

We, too, would bring our treasures

To offer to the King;

We have no wealth or learning:

What shall we children bring?

 

We’ll bring Him hearts that love Him;

We’ll bring Him thankful praise,

And young souls meekly striving

To walk in holy ways:

And these shall be the treasures

We offer to the King,

And these are gifts that even the poorest child may bring.

 

We’ll bring the little duties

We have to do each day;

We’ll try our best to please Him,

At home, at school, at play:

And better are these treasures

To offer to our King,

Than richest gifts without them;

Yet these a child may bring.” *

 

 

 

* The One Year Book of Hymns. Ed. Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton. Tyndale. Wheaton, IL. 1995

 

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20th Century, authors, History, Minnesota, Uncategorized

“Millions of Cats” Published

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1928
Artist Wanda Gág writes and illustrates Millions of Cats, which becomes a book for children. She goes on to publish nine more children’s books and Growing Pains, diaries of her teen-age years in New Ulm.*

It seems like Wanda Gag wanted to make a book that posed the following question to kids; “How do you choose when you have so many good options?” The book is considered a classic children’s story, and is also beloved for its pictures. ** I think she just knows how to pique imagination.

So we pray to the Lord! Thank You for the imagination and commitment by Wanda Gag to make “Millions of Cats” that has caused kids to wonder for generations. Will You bless her and her generations of artists and writers in Minnesota? (I think its great that even her name is a fun pun!)

Will You make our society a place for contemplation, and especially in the precious minds of its’ youngsters? Will You forgive us where we have quashed the vivid colors of childhood thoughtfulness, cognition, resourcefulness, and inventiveness? We give You gratitude for minds that do not snap to the grid, but defy boundaries at times! When You bless us with many good choices in life, may we gratefully think, ponder, and choose well because our elders have prepared us to do so!

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 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!
** “Wise Book Review” link – https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/141703788/posts/34

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20th Century, History, Life

A Remedy for Hate

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“From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two — the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people.”  Viktor E. Frankl

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/909080-from-all-this-we-may-learn-that-there-are-two

Want to read more about this amazing human being?

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl

 

 

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19th Century, Culture, education, Faith, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans

Lake Harriet Mission School July 19, 1836  

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Six students attend the opening of the Lake Harriet Mission School for the Dakota, founded by the Reverend Jedediah D. Stevens. An early example of education within the boundaries of present-day Minnesota, the school was sponsored by the Presbyterian Missions Board and taught by the founder’s niece, Lucy C. Stevens, in a cabin built by Gideon H. and Samuel W. Pond.*

Good Teacher, thank you for the benefits of the Lake Harriet Mission School for the Dakota. Thank you for the heart of providing education to all! It’s so good to share what we know and have it received.

It is not easy to be the first. It takes boldness to reach out across cultural lines. On one side of this picture we have Dakota students who are reaching out to Stevens. Conversely, he is stepping out of his comfort zone to meet and teach members of an unfamiliar culture. Will You bless both sides of this exchange? Will You remember their boldness and trust to know each other? Each group is an exploratory party of sorts. May we never forget what its like to be an alien!

Lord, I also want to acknowledge our separations that may begin as academic pride. We assume our knowledge will change our ‘underprivileged’. We often fail to pass on wisdom (good judgment), and even foster an academic culture that hesitates to recognize the merits of wisdom. As moderns, we cringe at even the word ‘judgement’, although one could argue that good judgment is the root of justice?!

I feel prompted to acknowledge the potential judgments of Stevens and Williamson against the Pond brothers, and perhaps a spirit of competitiveness. Lord, will you forgive any heritage of academic  or religious pride stemming from  them forward to us if this is the case? Will you forgive the stinging pain of criticism towards or counter-judgments from the Ponds, the Dakotas, these first six students, or any other pertinent unaddressed party? Will You free the land  of Minnesota from these judgments, and bring the blessing of humility that we all have betrayed You, Your peoples, and our selves? Will You make us humble teachers and students of the “knowledge” You have revealed to us? Amen.

*The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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