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Witness to History

Newsworthy Category

Witness to History: 1961

In 1961, Franklin Rogers Park, home field of the Mankato Moondogs and Mankato West High School, was built. That same year, Robert G. Johnson joined the firm and became one of its namesakes. During his career, Johnson distinguished himself in the areas of medical and legal malpractice defense. Franklin Rogers Park Franklin Rogers Park, originally Key City Park, opened in 1961 at 601 Reed Street, in Mankato. Franklin Rogers served as sports editor and later as The Free Press’ editor and vice president. Rogers was also an active civic leader; in 1964 Governor Karl Rolvaag appointed him head of a...
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Witness to History: 1900

In 1900, Kodak introduced the first Brownie camera, which brought the hobby of photography within financial reach of consumers. The camera sold for $1 and film was 15 cents a roll. Also in 1900, J.W. Schmitt joined the practice that would become Farrish Johnson Law Office. Kodak Brownie Camera Introduced in February of 1900 by Eastman Kodak, the Brownie camera provided low-cost photography to the people. It was produced so inexpensively that anyone, not just professional or wealthy individuals, could own one. For less than $2, anyone could buy the Brownie, a roll of film, and get it processed. It...
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Witness to History: 1975

In 1975, Glen Taylor purchased Carlson Wedding Service, the foundation for what would become Taylor Corporation. Also in that year, Dave Salsbery joined the firm that is now Farrish Johnson Law Office. Taylor Corporation Carlson Wedding Service owner, Bill Carlson, decided to sell the company in preparation for retirement. Glen Taylor had worked with Carlson since 1959 and purchased the business. He founded Taylor Corporation in 1975. Taylor Corporation produces interactive print and marketing solutions and is comprised of more than 80 subsidiaries and employs more than 12,000 people across 25 states, Puerto Rico, and nine foreign countries. Mankato Taylor...
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Witness to History: 1974

This month in 1974, the majority of Arab oil-producing nations ended their embargo against the United States, marking the end of the 1973 oil crisis. This crisis led to the enactment of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by Congress in 1975. Also in 1974, Miles Zimmerman, who has worked with the firm since 1952, was appointed District Court Judge of Blue Earth County. End of Oil Embargo The Arab-dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced a decision to cut oil exports to the United States and other nations that provided military aid to Israel in the Yom...
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Witness to History: 2016

This week in 2016, President Barack Obama became the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928. In that same year, Joseph Gangi was first selected for inclusion on the Minnesota Rising Stars list published by Super Lawyers®, a Thomas Reuters business. Gangi also received this honor in 2017. President Obama visits Cuba On March 21, 2016 President Obama landed in Cuba for a meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro, becoming the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since 1928. The historic three-day visit included a tour of Old Havana, taking in a baseball game with Raúl Castro, and delivering...
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Witness to History: 1945

In 1945, Maud Hart Lovelace published the fifth book in the beloved “Betsy-Tacy” series, “Heaven to Betsy”. Also in 1945, Robert J. Sheran joined the firm. He went on to become one of the most influential lawyers in the history of the state. Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Lovelace Maud Hart Lovelace was born in Mankato in 1892. A writer and poet from an early age, she published her first short story in the Los Angeles Times at age nineteen. She kept diaries and scrapbooks of her childhood adventures with family and friends and these records would become the basis for...
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Witness to History: 1926

On this day in 1926, the first transatlantic telephone call was made between London and New York. That same year, Charlotte Farrish, the law office’s namesake, joined the firm and started one of the most celebrated legal careers in the history of Minnesota. First Transatlantic Telephone Call Though France joined to Britain by a telephone cable as far back as 1891, the Atlantic was a far greater challenge. With the state of technology at that time a simple cable link would not work. But the needs of commerce and politics meant that the task would inevitably be mastered. On March...
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Witness to History: 1919

This week in 1919, Congress passed the act that established the Grand Canyon National Park in the state of Arizona. Also in 1919, Sinclair Lewis, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, befriended and lived with J.W. Schmitt, one the firm’s original attorneys. Lewis completed two books, “Main Street” and “Free Air”, while living in Mankato. Grand Canyon President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act on February 26, 1919. President Theodore Roosevelt had declared the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument in 1908. The canyon, Roosevelt said, is “the one great sight which every...
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Witness to History: 1972

On this day in 1972, President Richard Nixon became the first US President to visit China. This weeklong visit normalized relations between the countries. That same year, Harrison H. Schmitt, the great grandson of H.L. Schmitt, the firm’s founder, walked on the moon. He was one of three crew members of Apollo 17, the final mission of the Apollo program. Richard Nixon’s 1972 Visit to China President Richard Nixon took a dramatic first step normalizing relations with the communist People’s Republic of China by traveling to Beijing for a week of talks. This historic visit began the slow process between...
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Witness to History: 2011

This month in 2011, writer and activist Maya Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. In that same year, Scott Kelly and Daniel Bellig were selected by Minnesota Lawyer as “Attorneys of the Year” for their efforts in stopping illegal use of newborn screening blood samples. Maya Angelou During a ceremony on February 5, 2011, President Barack Obama presented to Dr. Maya Angelou the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. Angelou is perhaps best known for her 1969 autobiography, about growing up in Arkansas during the Jim Crow era of segregation....
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