Phyllis Kahn Celebrates Her Election Night Victory, 1972 (by Charles Bjorgen)
The election of 1972 was a political breakthrough for women in Minnesota. Six women were elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives that year, five for the first time. While those six women—DFLers Phyllis Kahn, Joan Growe, Helen McMillan, and Linda Berglin and Republicans Ernee McArthur and Mary Forsythe—still represented a small legislative minority, they blazed a path that others would follow. (This and other rarely-seen photos appear in our forthcoming history, Minnesota in the 70s, which hits the bookshelves in November.)
Photo via Minnesota Historical Society
Virginia Piper and Harry Piper, Post-Kidnapping, 1972
Virginia Piper, the wife of retired investment banker Harry C. Piper, was kidnapped from the couple’s home in Orono, Minnesota, on July 27, 1972. Her kidnappers released her two days later after her husband paid a one million dollar ransom—at the time, the largest ransom in U.S. history. The two men charged with the kidnapping were eventually acquitted. The crime remains unsolved. Only $4,000 of the ransom money was ever recovered.
Photo via Business Insider
Evel Knievel in Coon Rapids, MN, 1972
Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel successfully jumped over 13 buses placed side-by-side at Minnesota Dragways in Coon Rapids on July 16, 1972. The event did feature one mishap, though: a private Lear jet crashed into Knievel’s trailer while landing at the drag strip.
Photos via HDForums
"Impeach Nixon" Button, 1972
On June 21, 1972—just four days after the Watergate break-in that brought down President Richard Nixon—a “new type” of socialist organization called the New American Movement was founded in Minneapolis. It was among the first activist organizations in the nation to make “Impeach Nixon” a rallying cry. The New American Movement survived as an independent group for about ten years. In 1982 it joined with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee to form the Democratic Socialists of America.
Image via Minnesota Historical Society