‘Greatest Generation’ celebrated

World War II, its effects on history, the soldiers who fought the war and life on the home front are considered in a variety of special events coordinated by the Minnesota Historical Society in August.

• Minnesota’s Greatest Generation Day will be celebrated from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Aug. 14, 1945 marked the end of World War II. This event will kick off the Historical Society’s multi-year project to preserve this important era’s history and make it accessible to coming generations. Free activities during the afternoon will feature big-band music and dancing, an ice cream social, a question-and-answer session with authors Thomas Saylor and Dave Kenney, a classic car display, veteran speakers, and a chance for visitors to ask the historical society’s collections team about their own World War II-era treasures. Call 296-6126 for more information.

• Tours of the Alexander Ramsey House in St. Paul will focus on Ramsey family members who were soldiers or volunteers during World War II. Ramsey’s great-newphew, Alexander Ramsey Nininger was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in Abucay, Baatan, and the Philippine Islands. Ramsey’s granddaughters, Laura and Anita Furness, volunteered for the Red Cross in both world wars. Tours cost $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children ages 6 to 17. They are free to veterans and their households and to children under 6. The tours leave at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Aug. 14; call 296-8760 for more information.

• A Greatest Generation Reunion of the Civilian Conservation Corps is slated for the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids Aug. 14 from noon to 5 p.m. During the 1930s and ‘40s, the CCC employed young people in public projects such as park building. During the Great Depression, it was a much-needed source of employment and pride, and more than 3 million Americans worked at some time with the CCC. In Minnesota, 80,000 CCC workers built and improved parks and other public amenities. The public is invited to view the documentary “For the Greatest Good,” about the U.S. Forest Service, and hear addresses about the legacy of the CCC and about the contemporary Minnesota Conservation Corps. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children ages 6 to 17, free to veterans and their households and free for children. Call 218-327-4482 for more information. The Forest History Center is located at 2609 County Road 76.

• The “Home Front” during World War II will be examined at the Mill City Museum, at 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 14. Unlike “modern” wars, materials of all kind were rationed during the U.S.’ involvement in World War II, from tire rubber to meat, gasoline to sugar. The museum’s baking lab will demonstrate World War II-era recipes that made the most of scarce ingredients. History Player Ruth Andre Krause, who began working at Pillsbury in 1946, will also speak about her experience. Krause was there when Pillsbury began marketing to civilians the kinds of convenience products that were initially developed for the troops. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students, $4 for children ages 6 to 17 and free to veterans and to children under 6.

• The groundbreaking for the World War II memorial on the state Captol grounds is slated for 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. Along with the ceremony, a program is slated from 1 to 4 p.m. highlighting the design of the memorial, the careers of governors who served in World War II and memorials to notable Minnesotans who served. The program is free; call 296-2881 for more information.

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