Bob Dylan sends shockwaves through the Newport Folk Festival by going electric. The Pillsbury Doughboy begins his starchy life of satisfied giggling. A ridiculous fight over daylight saving time grips the Twin Cities for weeks.
The year, of course, is 1965*, and Minneapolis is looking mighty fine. Problem is, the city's population -- which hit its peak of just over 500,000 in the '50s -- has started to wane.
To entice outsiders, the following promotional video was cooked up to highlight the enviable Minneapolis lifestyle, circa '65. In it, the Chain of Lakes sparkles; Hennepin Avenue bustles; Minnehaha Falls tumbles; a shot of C-grade fall foliage lingers, seemingly forever; and Foshay Tower, um, towers above downtown's quaint skyline. That initially spooky vocal track? It transforms into a swingin', guitar-spiked bop for the ages (more on that later).
The clip was unearthed by Stewart Van Cleve, the digital archivist at Augsburg University. Last year, with the aid of donors, his team shipped off their entire collection of historic recordings for digitization.
"The Minneapolis promotional film was a complete surprise," Van Cleve says, adding that it was discovered inside a canister mislabeled "Skip Day 1947." The origins of the video are unknown.
We do know the soundtrack was written/arranged by Dick Wilson and Ray Charles (not that one), the duo behind Minnesota Twins fight song "We're Gonna Win Twins." The Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce held a contest calling for civically minded anthems, according to Hymie's Vintage Records owner Dave Hoenack, and the Wilson/Charles jam emerged victorious.
"That song has been stuck in my head for days!" Van Cleve says.
Click here to explore more retro videos from Augsburg's collection, which spans the 1930s through the '70s.
*UPDATE: There's some speculation surrounding the actual date of the Minneapolis promo video.