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A History of Minneapolis: an Overview by Staff at the Hennepin County Library

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Featuring historical photos and items from the collections of the Hennepin County Library, with contemporary photos from the Phototour of Minneapolis by Chris Gregerson.

Amateur Sports

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Both amateur and professional athletics have been a notable part of Minneapolis since its founding. For many years, the Minneapolis City Conference consisting of the city's public high schools was one of the strongest conferences in the state in a variety of sports. Parochial schools such as De La Salle, located on Nicollet Island, also made their marks, particularly in basketball. Two of the greatest athletes to come out of Minneapolis high schools were Tony Jaros of Edison and John Blanchard of Central. Both were three-sport stars and both went on to the major leagues--Blanchard in baseball and Jaros in basketball (Jaros also played minor league baseball).

Gud Roseland, a Roosevelt High School shortstop in 1936.
Minneapolis Collection, Uncat Photo Sports: Baseball: High School

Lewis Ginsberg, football player for Central High School in 1926.
Minneapolis Collection, Uncat Photo Sports: Football: High School

City high schools often provided the talent for strong sports programs at the University of Minnesota. This was especially true in the 1930s when a number of football players from Marshall High School, on the edge of the University campus, provided the nucleus for Bernie Bierman's national championship football teams. Andy Uram and Babe LeVoir were among the stars from Marshall High who made the short journey to the Minnesota Gophers and helped to launch them to national prominence.

A filled Memorial Stadium for a University of Minnesota football game in the stadium's first season (1924).
Minneapolis Collection, M0123

The Minnesota Gophers produced five national championship titles in football in the 1930s and early 1940s under Bierman. They landed another national championship team in 1960 and made their first of two consecutive trips to the Rose Bowl with Murray Warmath as coach. Around this time, the Gophers were in the midst of winning three national baseball championships. Dick Siebert, who coached the team for more than 30 years, led the Gophers to the title in the presidential election years of 1956, 1960, and 1964. The university's hockey team also won three national titles, all of them coming within a brief period in the 1970s with Herb Brooks as coach.

Minneapolis speed skater Louise Herou in 1941.
Minneapolis Collection, M4354F

Four women (Irene Steenson, Helen Wagner, Margaret Knutson, and Clara Skaar) golfing on a Minneapolis golf course in 1939.
Minneapolis Collection, M3076

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