Weekend Showcase: Hennepin History Museum Highlights ‘Local Heroes’
The Hennepin History Museum near Washburn Fair Oaks Park in Minneapolis is now open again to the public with a new attraction. It’s offering a new exhibit titled “Local Heroes,” a tribute to health care workers.
“We were inspired last year, thanks to COVID,” said John Crippen, executive director of the Hennepin History Museum. “We had a hole in our exhibit calendar, and so [museum curator] Alyssa Thiede was racking her brain trying to figure out what could we do.”
Thiede had the inspiration to look back at the older history of Hennepin County and looked at some of the foundations of our health care system that we enjoy today.
Museum curator Alyssa Thiede sifted through information in the archives of the museum. Then, she worked with the Hennepin Medical History Center procuring artifacts to bring to an exhibit which tells stories Hennepin County’s healthcare pioneers.
“Francis McHie was an African-American woman who wanted to be a nurse,” said Crippen. “She applied to go to the University of Minnesota nursing school. And they wouldn’t let her in.”
This was in 1929, so McHie made her appeal to the Minnesota Legislature and won. In the process, she became the first Black nursing school student to graduate — at the top of her class — from the U of M .
This is one of many fascinating stories connected with developments in the health care industry with a Hennepin County connection.
New Board Member
The other new addition to the history museum is a figure that might be familiar to the residents of western Hennepin County: Commissioner Kevin Anderson
“I think one of the things that’s really great about the history museum is that the better we understand and connect with history, the better the decisions we’re able to make,” said Kevin Anderson.
Anderson recently won the District 7 seat on the Hennepin County Commission. He then joined the Hennepin History Museum Board as their latest ex-officio member.
“We learn from our past,” said Anderson.
The museum is limiting its capacity, so check the museum’s website for hours and ticket availability.
And one final reminder. If you haven’t caught the Terrace Theatre exhibit yet, it’s still on display upstairs. You have a couple months before they change this out, and it is a must-see for Robbinsdale history buffs.