[Daily article] March 18: Elcor, Minnesota

Elcor is a ghost town in the U.S. state of Minnesota that was inhabited
between 1897 and 1956. It was built on the Mesabi Iron Range near the
city of Gilbert in St. Louis County. At its peak around 1920, Elcor had
two churches, a post office, a general store, a primary school, a
railroad station and its own law enforcement, and housed a population of
nearly 1,000. Elcor was a mining town, built by the mining company to
house its workers. People were allowed to own their homes, but the land
on which the houses stood belonged to the company. In the early days,
houses were made of wooden boards and surrounded by a four-board-high
fence fronted with a boardwalk. Most of the streets were dirt roads. The
townspeople were pioneers and immigrants, largely Croatian, Slovenian,
Finnish, Italian, German, Scandinavian and English (especially Cornish).
After the last mine closed in 1954, the residents were ordered to vacate
the property; by 1956, Elcor was completely abandoned.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1241:

First Mongol invasion of Poland: Mongols overwhelmed the Polish
armies of Sandomierz and Kraków provinces in the Battle of Chmielnik
and plundered the abandoned city of Kraków.

1834:

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to transportation to
Australia for swearing an illegal oath to join their friendly society in
Dorset, England.

1921:

The Polish–Soviet War, which determined the borders between
the Republic of Poland and Soviet Russia, formally concluded with the
signing of the Peace of Riga.

1938:

Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas created Pemex, the national
petroleum company, by expropriating all foreign-owned oil reserves and
facilities.

1990:

Thieves stole 13 works of art valued at $500 million from the
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the largest-value theft of
private property in history.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

less-than-stellar:
(slang, sarcastic) Mediocre; not satisfactory; not very good, poor; not
meeting standards or expectations.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Fate and freedom alike play a part in history; and there are
times, as in wars and revolutions, when fate is the stronger of the two.
Freedom — the freedom of man and of nations — could never have been
the origin of two world wars. These latter were brought about by fate,
which exercises its power owing to the weakness and decline of freedom
and of the creative spirit of man. Almost all contemporary political
ideologies, with their characteristic tendency to state-idolatry, are
likewise largely a product of two world wars, begotten as they are of
the inexorability’s of fate.  
–Nikolai Berdyaev

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