Author: Dave Kenney

Dave Kenney

Dave Kenney

Freelance writer specializing in Minnesota history. Co-author of "Minnesota in the '70s," published by Minnesota Historical Society Press. The one to blame for the MN70s blog on Tumblr (MN70s.tumblr.com). Tweets at @MN70s

Flashback 1970s: Metrodome Groundbreaking

This cartoon, published in the Minneapolis Tribune in 1976, is a reminder of just how long and ugly the battle to build a domed stadium in downtown Minneapolis really was. The Twins and Vikings started pushing in the early 1970s for a new home to replace old Met Stadium in Bloomington. It wasn’t until December 20, 1979, […]

Flashback 1970s: Wetlands Protection

In 1970, officials in Freeborn County, Minnesota, informed farmer Bill Bryson that they planned to drain a marsh on his property to make way for a new road. But Bryson was fond of his marsh and didn’t want to see it destroyed. He sued the county under the new Minnesota Environmental Rights Act. Five years […]

Flashback 1970s: Jonathan

On October, 8, 1970, the federal government began issuing bonds to finance the development of an entirely new community—Jonathan, near Chaska, Minnesota. Jonathan was the vision of businessman, conservationist, and former state senator Henry T. McKnight. McKnight believed that by incorporating concepts such as ecological balance, community cohesion, and technological innovation, Jonathan could serve as […]

Flashback 1970s: Stacked Mobile Homes

SkyeRise Terrace, located a few minutes north of St. Paul, was the nation’s first multi-level mobile home park. It inspired imitations across the country, including a particularly ugly project in Mankato derisively nicknamed “Tornado Towers.” SkyeRise Terrace lasted only a couple years. The project failed, at least in part, because its water pumps were unable […]

Flashback 1970s: New License Plates

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced on September 20, 1977, that it had begun issuing license plates with a new “canoeists on a tree-framed lake” design. The plates haven’t changed much in the 35 years since then. Bored with them yet?

Flashback 1970s: MTC Takes Over

  The Metropolitan Transit Commission (a division of the Metropolitan Council regional planning agency) took over the privately-owned Twin Cities Lines bus system on September 18, 1970. Most of the buses Metro Transit acquired were at least 15 years old and in lousy shape. The commission launched a five-year improvement plan to replace the old […]