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Minnesota History Magazine Spring 2021 (67:5)

Minnesota History Magazine Spring 2021 (67:5)

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"Curious and Romantic Sensation": Sex, Fraud, and Celebrity in the Leon A. Belmont Case of 1880
Lizzie Ehrenhalt

Between October 30 and November 25, 1880, Twin Cities newspapers published more than five dozen articles on “the Belmont sensation.” In them, reporters wrestled with how to respond to a person they perceived to be a woman seducing other women and dressing in clothes they associated with men. Their conclusions shifted as the sensation went on. Rather than cancel each other out, the conflicting feelings reinforced each other and created the kind of modern celebrity icon that had only recently emerged through the rise of wire services, which distributed the stories nationwide.

Policing Politics: Labor, Race, and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, 1945-1972
Michael J. Lansing

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis became a powerful political force in the post–World War II era. Efforts to eliminate racial prejudice, attempts to professionalize policing, and an ongoing struggle for better compensation all shaped an emerging political identity for Minneapolis policemen. By the mid-1960s, when civil rights organizations successfully challenged racist policing as a long-standing problem in Minneapolis, labor advocacy by the police union proved to be a potent way to defend racialized policing, the foundation for the federation’s widely recognized influence in city politics that persists to this day.

From the Archives: Censorship and Journalists' Privilege: The Case of Near versus Minnesota—Half a Century Later
Fred W. Friendly

This excerpt from the noted journalist’s speech at MNHS’s 1978 annual meeting and history conference discussed the famous 1931 Supreme Court case with Minnesota roots and related it to the free-press and fair-trial issues of the then-present day. Friendly’s book Minnesota Rag: The Dramatic Story of the Landmark Supreme Court Case That Gave New Meaning to Freedom of the Press was published in 1981.


Editor’s Notes/Masthead
Laura Weber

Curator’s Choice
The St. Paul Daily Dirge
Lori Williamson

Mystery photos
Linda James

Red Lake County Courthouse, Red Lake Falls
Amy Jo Hahn

Take Three, News & Notes, Letters, Our Back Pages

Preserving > Sharing > Connecting
The Sit Family Legacy: Civic leadership, patriotism, and giving back to community

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