Archive for the ‘Military – World War II’ category

Military Roundtable Highlights Fort Snelling in World War II

April 20, 2010

The Otter Tail County Historical Society continues the Military Roundtable discussion with look at Fort Snelling in World War II. Historian and Minnesota Military History expert Stephen E. Osman will discuss and answer questions about Fort Snelling’s role in World War II on Monday, May 3, 2010 at noon. Osman, who is retired now, worked for the Minnesota Historical Society as the site manager at Fort Snelling. He has conducted research on every aspect of military life at Fort Snelling from details about uniforms to drill and training methods.

Nearly 300,000 soldiers and sailors were inducted for service there while others trained to operate railroads, serve as military police, or speak Japanese as Fort Snelling fought its last war. Mr. Osman will take us into the life of Minnesota’s Greatest Generation at Fort Snelling with photos and personal narratives. For more information, call (218)736-6038 or email


Day of Remembrance

March 29, 2010



The Otter Tail County Historical Society ‘s Military Roundtable (OTC-MP) for April will commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps by American military personnel. The program will take place on Monday, April 5 at noon at the county museum in Fergus Falls.

The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of Holocaust and established the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The museum located in Washington, D.C. has designated Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters as the theme for the 2010 observance.

As Allied soldiers were closing in on Germany in the spring of 1945, they encountered dozens of concentration camps and were suddenly confronted with the reality of Nazi atrocities. For the soldiers, even the brutality of war did not prepare them for what they encountered. After visiting Buchenwald, General Eisenhower told his staff, “I want every American unit not actually in the front lines to see this place. We are told the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least he will know.”

The roundtable will include a dvd of actual footage shot by American military personnel in 1945. There is no charge to attend the program. For more information, email or call (218)736-6038.

Pearl Harbor Program at Museum

November 19, 2009

Join us for an anniversary celebration with a military background. The Otter Tail County Historical Society Military Roundtable, now called Otter Tail County MP (for Military Past) is one year old. In December, the forum will take place on the 68th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, Monday, Dec. 7, at noon. As a special way to commemorate the anniversary of this historic day and our OTC MP, the Historical Society will present local historian Myron Broschat. Broschat is a retired employee of Otter Tail Power Corp. and himself a veteran of WWII, has published booklets on the military history of Otter Tail County and on the histories of Otter Tail Power employees. He will give a stirring presentation on the sequence of events that happened on the fateful day in 1941.

Bring your sack lunch or just come and enjoy the coffee, cider and holiday treats from the Historical Society. This program is given free of charge. Call 218-736-6038 for more information.

New Item in the Gift Shop

May 26, 2009



Quarterly publication of the Minnesota Historical Society

Special Double Issue: Minnesota’s Greatest Generation

$10.00 each

Remember, members receive a 10% discount on most items in the gift shop.

Dinner to Honor World War II Veterans

May 12, 2009

Honoring Veterans of World War II: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Valor is a special dinner and program honoring World War II veterans at the Fergus Falls VFW on Thursday, June 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Sponsored by the Otter Tail County Historical Society, the purpose of the event is to recognize veterans and have them share their memories and experiences.
More than 16 million Americans served their country during the war. Government records indicate that fewer than 4 million survive today with an average of over 1,000 dying daily. Within a matter of years the recollections of those who fought in our nation’s greatest war effort will be gone. This is an attempt to capture a piece of that history.
In addition to a prime rib dinner, WDAY personality and Vining native, Kevin Wallevand, will host and moderate a panel of veterans who will relate their experiences and memories. The panel will provide a history of the war through the eyes of everyday soldiers.
There will be few opportunities to sponsor this type of event in the future. Help us collect and preserve the stories of these extraordinary people for future generations.
The dinner is open to the public. Tickets are $15 and available at the Otter Tail County Historical Museum. For information call the Museum at 218-736-6038.

Daniel Ford, Author of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942 to Speak at Historical Society

April 2, 2008

Dan Ford himself, the author, will be leading our discussion on April 21 at noon! This exciting news is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts which is sponsoring The Big Read in Fergus Falls, Elbow Lake, and Pelican Rapids this year. He plans to tailor his program to our community, adding information about our own hometown boy, Einar Mickelson – namesake for the Fergus Falls Municipal Airport. Copies of the book are available for sale in our gift shop.

Einer Mickelson, Flying Tiger

February 25, 2008

We invite you to read Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942 by Daniel Ford. The Fergus Falls Municipal Airport is named for Fergus native and Flying Tiger member, Einar “Micky” Mickelson. Formally called the American Volunteer Group, members of the Flying Tigers were World War II aviators who flew missions protecting traffic on the Burma Road supported Chinese troops fighting against the Japanese. Mickelson later joined the Chinese National Aviation Corporation. He died on a flight form India to China. A book discussion is scheduled for Monday, April 21, Mickelson’s birthday, at noon in the our library. Click here to see our Record Article: Einer Mickelson, Flying Tiger