“Chicago has always been a heavily segregated city, but by all accounts Medusa’s brought together teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. VJ Leroy Fields says, “Our club would draw straight kids, gay kids, punk kids, goth kids, skinhead kids, Asian kids, black kids, suburban kids, city kids—even sailors would come there from the [Naval Station] Great Lakes. The Navy sanctioned it ‘cause they weren’t drinking.”“
Medusa’s was one of the best things that ever was in the city of Chicago. If you have any interest in house music, Wax Trax or Chicago, this history is an absolute must read.
NSP Nuclear Plant, Monticello, Minnesota, 1971
Gulp. On November 19, 1971, a storage tank at the new Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant south of St. Cloud overflowed, releasing 50,000 gallons of radioactive waste water into the Mississippi River. The “hot” liquid headed downstream and traces of it eventually showed up in St. Paul’s water supply.
More at Minnesota in the 70s
Image via Monticello Minnesota History
The Great Potato Famine in Ireland in the years 1845-1849 forced thousands of Irishmen to flee their home country. One of their destinations was Quebec, Canada. The Canadian government chose Grosse Island, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, as the island to house Irish immigrants before allowing them to enter Canada.
From 1832 to 1848, thousands of Irish immigrants landed on Grosse Island—and many of them would never leave. Over 5,000 Irish were buried on Grosse Island—a fact which makes it the largest Irish Potato Famine cemetery outside Ireland.
In the year 1847, a massive typhus outbreak killed thousands on the island and aboard the ships. For those passengers lucky enough to get off the ships, perfunctory health checks allowed thousands of desperate and sick immigrants to leave the island and make their way to cities such as Montreal, risking further spread of the epidemic. “Fever sheds” were set up in Montreal to try to isolate these infected and sick people, and it is estimated that as many as 6000 additional victims died there. Incidentally, one immigrant who did make it off Grosse Island safely was the grandfather of Henry Ford.
Great Northern Depot, Minneapolis (Before and After), 1978
Wrecking balls began bashing apart Minneapolis’s old Great Northern Depot on July 5, 1978. The depot had opened 65 years earlier to serve James J. Hill’s railroad empire. By 1978, the declining popularity of passenger rail service and the opening of Amtrak’s new Midway station in St. Paul had made it obsolete. The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank now sits on the depot site.
Obit of the Day: Zach Sobiech, YouTube Sensation
Zach Sobiech wrote a song. Lots of people do. But few of them are 18-year-olds with incurable cancer writing a final farewell to friends and family.
In November 2009, Zach was diagnosed with osteosarcoma* an aggressive bone cancer. After three years of treatment, Zach and his family were told that it had spread and there was nothing more that could be done.
Zach thought he could do one more thing. So he wrote the song “Clouds” and recorded it on his phone. The Minnesotan’s performance caught the attention of producers at Atomic K Records and they offered to let Zach do a studio recording.
Uploaded to YouTube in December 2012, the song went viral. As of May 2013 it has received 3.2 million views.
The song is available for purchase on Amazon.com and iTunes. The money from the sales of “Clouds” is given to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. At the time of his death, the organization has earned $100,000 from sales of Zach’s single. (You can also donate directly to the Research Fund in his name.)
Zach Sobiech, who received his diploma in April because he would not live to see his class graduate in June, died on May 20, 2013.
Random note: Two weeks before he passed, a celebrity lip synch of “Clouds” was posted on YouTube featuring Bryan Cranston, Sarah Silverman, The Lumineers, and most of the cast of The Office.
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
(The YouTube video is courtey of The Wooly Rhino.)
* Earlier this month Obit of the Day featured another young victim of osteosarcoma, Zachi Telesha. Zachi was a 12-year-old comic book writer.