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Ben Welter presents Minnesota Moxie: True Tales of Courage, Muscle & Grit in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes

Minnesotans are a tough lot, capable of pulling a house six miles by muscle alone or giving birth to a sixteen-pound boy. In 1921, young Phoebe Fairgrave set a parachute world record, stepping off the wing of a biplane 15,200 feet above the Twin Cities.

In 1962, the last powerhouse Gophers football team brought home the Rose Bowl trophy. A year later, thirteen-year-old Jean Webb of Minneapolis risked arrest and refused to leave a segregated restaurant.

In 1979, Gerry Spiess crossed the Atlantic alone in a 10 foot sailboat he built in his White Bear Lake garage. These inspiring stories and dozens more, culled from the Star Tribune newspaper archives, are presented in their original form by author Ben Welter, along with in-depth background, fresh interviews and more than seventy-five historic photos.

Ben Welter is former news copy chief at the Star Tribune, is a Minneapolis native and University of Minnesota graduate. He has been reading newspapers since his first grade teacher, Sister Romana, taught him how to say the alphabet backward and forward in 1965. Forty years later, he began scouring his paper’s microfilm in search of interesting stories and photos dating back to 1867. 

He has posted more than six hundred of the best on his blog, “Yesterday’s News." To avoid dating himself, he established one rule at the blog’s launch: stories published during his own lengthy newspaper career do not qualify as “Yesterday’s News.” He has broken that rule just once, posting an account of Twins legend Kirby Puckett’s exhausting first day in the Big Leagues.

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