Today is Election Day. And while we wait in line to cast our votes in the Twin Cities, the chances are good that we're going to hear some language other than English being spoken.
This is nothing new. And despite what the English-only crowd would have us believe, it doesn't represent the end of American culture. It's just another chapter.[jump]
Norwegians, Swedes, Germans and Poles, among others, were fumbling with English here long before Mexicans, Somalis, Ethiopians and Hmong.
And on Election Day, as the Minnesota Historical Society's "Becoming Minnesotan" collection reminds us, those Scandinavians and Europeans got official, government help, just as Asians, Africans and Latin Americans do today.
Here are a few examples: