Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 43-2 Summer 2008

Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.

Volume 43

Volume 43, Number 2: Summer 2008

Strike for Better Schools:
The St. Paul Public Schools Teachers’ Strike of 1946

Author: Cheryl Carlson

The story of the first teachers’ strike in the U.S. carried out by 1,165 St. Paul educators. The background causes included the lack of support for public schools, partly because around a third of all students were in parochial schools. At that time, the City Council ran the schools and for decades there had been had low per capita financing. The students had to buy their own textbooks. Along with allies, the teachers tried earlier to get amendments to the city charter to reform the situation, but they were all defeated. The separate Men’s and Women’s Federations gave notice of their intent to strike and November 25, 1946 pickets appeared in front of the school buildings. The City Council finally agreed to support an amendment to separate school finances from the city budget and, after the charter commission agreed, the teachers returned to work on December 28, 1946. The charter changes were passed in 1947 and a school board was soon established. The historic strike had a national impact. There is a sidebar on Mary McGough and Lettisha Henderson, two of the important Federation leaders.
PDF of Carlson article

Our Courage and Cowards:
The Controversy Surrounding Macalester College’s Neutrality and Peace Association, 1917

Author: Emily Skidmore

When eighty students sent a petition to Woodrow Wilson in support of neutrality from the World War, Macalester College found itself enmeshed in what became a national controversy. The students formed a large Neutrality and Peace Association. Professor James Wallace, the president of the college, was part of the group, but he switched his views after the country declared war in April 1917. Most of the state newspapers attacked the students for the stand for neutrality and peace. The author argues that the power of gender as a cultural motivator was important in this controversy and examines the masculine and feminine language that was used to discuss the war. As soon as the U.S. officially entered the war, even the students changed their attitudes and many of them enlisted, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
PDF of Skidmore article

Growing Up In Saint Paul:
 Love in Bloom

Author: John L. Relf

This is an excerpt from the author’s book My Story,  published in 2007. Relf was born in 1927 and first lived on Portland Avenue near Fairview. He graduated from Central High School, entered the army and later went to the University of Minnesota for a business degree. Relf describes his courtship and wedding, an apartment on Grand Avenue, and purchasing a lot near White Bear Lake, where he and his wife built a new home in Pine Tree Hills addition. The author covers summer vacations, relations with friends and neighbors and working at 3M as well as his interest in politics and involvement in city council meetings.
PDF of Relf article

Book Reviews

Theresa M. Schenck, William W. Warren: The Life, Letters, and Times of an Ojibwe Leader (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2007).

John W. Diers and Aaron Isaacs, Twin Cities by Trolley: The Streetcar Era in Minneapolis and St. Paul (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

Doug Hoverson, Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

Biloine W. Young, A Noble Task: The Saint Paul Public Library Celebrates 125 (Afton, Minn.: Afton Historical Society Press, 2007).

Patricia Hampl, The Florist’s Daughter (Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt, 2007).

PDF of Book Reviews