Saint Paul Connections: The Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Struggle

By Peter Rachleff ● 2015

The August 28, 2013, march in Saint Paul commemorating the fif­tieth anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington expressed the historic interconnections of the labor movement and the civil rights

A Misty Dream of Glacial Saint Paul


For the past few summers, I have led geology tours around the Twin Cities for community education courses. The tours usually involve features such as caves, springs, and waterfalls.

Fabel’s Shoe Store


On Saturdays when I was a kid, my friends and I took the streetcar—later the bus—to downtown Saint Paul. Sometimes we went to the library, where the wise librarians knew how to help active boys find books that would hold their interest and keep them coming back for more.

Osceola, Osceola


We were moving to Saint Paul after a year in Ireland, all ten of us packed into a tiny Fiat station wagon for the drive from New York to a big house on an even bigger hill set on Osceola Avenue.

A Copy Boy’s Tale


It was a little before seven on the morning of June 1, 1966, when I entered the stately building at 55 East Fourth Street and hurried up the stairs.

Imniza Ska (“White Cliffs” of Saint Paul)


One day in June 2011, my wife, Mary Beth Faimon, and I took a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River from Harriet Island in Saint Paul. On the cruise, I saw, for the first time, Imniza Ska, the white cliffs that line the Mississippi River.

Rondo Pioneers

By Danta Wilson, D’Onna Clark, Damone Presley, Erica Dennis, Maya Clark, Mietta Green, DaVante Jackson ● 2014

As the Black poet J. Saunders Redding said: The relationship between a people and their history is the same as the relationship between a child and its mother; history not only tells a people where they are and what they are—history also informs us what we still must be and what we still must do.

Ironic Meetings of Ghosts at the Irish Fair of Minnesota on Saint Paul’s Harriet Island


The Irish Fair’s site along the pewter-gray, spreading Mississippi beneath downtown Saint Paul on the ample greensward of Harriet Island is majestic and invites celebration. The bustling and music-crammed Irish Fair with its snowy canvas tents, its black-tinted signposts, and plentiful green turf offers an Ireland of the mind to its visitors.

Dylan, Spider John, and the Purple Onion


Dylan, Spider John, and the Purple Onion by Bob Scroggins I got to know Saint Paul and I got to know Bob Dylan because I got to know Bill Danielson.

Our Lady of Peace High School 1952-56


In 1952 I became an O.L.P. girl by default. On the day I was to get measured for my Derham Hall uniform, Mother and Dad told me that I couldn’t go there after all and they immediately took me, in tears, down to Our Lady of Peace High School to register. It was a financial decision. Grudgingly, I joined the 190 girls who made up the second graduating class at O.L.P., which quickly had been dubbed the “Old Ladies Prison” by the boys at Cretin.

Remembering Dorothy Day


Dorothy Day and I go way back. Granted, I never met her, but I can’t help but feel a connection after volunteering every third Saturday for the past twenty years at the Dorothy Day Center in downtown Saint Paul. I first went there on a lark, something to try once because I had just moved to the Twin Cities and wanted to meet new people. I never got around to stopping.

What Saint Paul Owes to Whiskey


During an 1883 visit to Saint Paul, the great Mark Twain observed: “How solemn and beautiful is the thought, that the earliest pioneer of civilization, the van-leader of civilization, is never the steamboat, never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the Sabbath-school, never the missionary—but always whiskey! Such is the case.”