Robbinsdale Little Free Library Discovery Uncovers Pearl Harbor History
Jim Williams found an old newspaper clipping detailing the attack on Pearl Harbor in the most unusual of places, a Robbinsdale Little Free Library.
“Somebody probably didn’t want it…or something,” said Williams.
Williams lives in Robbinsdale and frequently walks the streets. He enjoys reading a variety of books, so he checks the Little Free Libraries.
On a walk on a midsummer’s day, he discovered the clipping stuck in a history book about Pearl Harbor. The history book also appears to have been signed by the author.
The clipping is from the Honolulu Star and the dateline is December 7, 1941.
“I brought it to work and showed the staff,” said Williams.
For more than 40 years, Williams has worked and attended programs at Opportunity Partners, a nonprofit that offers services and employment to people with disabilities.
Staff members couldn’t believe what Williams had found.
Instructor Deborah Dale knew immediately it was an old paper because it was yellowed.
“And then the date, it’s right there,” said Dale. “Potentially, it’s a piece of history.”
Then, the staff embarked on a project trying to discover the origins of the paper and whether it was real or a reproduction.
They discovered the paper was actually a special reproduction from the 1970s.
“It still has some value,” says Dale.
But, Jim Williams just thought it was a very cool find.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever found,” said Williams.
“It’s so like Jim,” said Dale. “He wasn’t interested in the money. It’s just an important part of history.”
Williams doesn’t walk outside now that the weather is cold. But when it warms up, he’ll be right back walking in downtown Robbinsdale, stopping at Little Free Libraries all along the way.