Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/16/2014

May 16, 2014

Honoring Fallen Officers
(Photo courtesy of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund)

Dear Friends,

This week in Minnesota I attended a Syttende Mai event at Northern State Bank in Thief River Falls and a book drive for kids in Red Lake Falls. I am honored to be recognized as a “Hero on Main Street” by the National Retail Federation for my dedication to supporting local businesses. The month of May has many important milestones. Arlington National Cemetery turned 150, Saturday is Armed Forces Day, and there was a special National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service in honor of fallen police officers in the line of duty in front of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. If you’re looking to visit a museum in the 7th, look below for ideas. Finally, small businesses are recognized for their commitment to growing the economy and creating jobs across the District.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

JA Hughes Elementary Book Drive

Emma and her parents Andy and Lacy

I was glad to help the JA Hughes Elementary School in Red Lake Falls meet their goal of 2,000 books for the Second Annual Summer Reading Book Drive and Give Away. The books will be sent home with the students at the end of the school year to help them maintain their reading skills over the summer months. Pictured above, third grader Emma K had the idea for the program last year when they were able to collect 1,000 books. Through the assistance of the Library of Congress Surplus Program, I delivered a box of books to the school on Friday afternoon. 

Syttende Mai

Vice President of TRF Northern State Bank Kyle Anderson

On Friday I attended Thief River's Northern State Bank's Syttende Mai's Open House to meet with constituents and celebrate our Norwegian Heritage.

The Public Library in TRF this month is featuring Norway's Constitution Exhibit. The Norwegian Constitution (“Grunnlov”) of May 1814 is the oldest European constitution that is still in use, and the second oldest in the world, behind the American Constitution by which it was inspired. On May 17th this year, we’re celebrating its bicentenary.
As a member of the Friends of Norway Caucus, I understand the importance of the relationship between our two countries. The Caucus was first established in 1999, and members work together to strengthen our ties, maintain an open dialogue, and address a variety of issues with bilateral and global impacts. I am joined on the Caucus by a number of fellow Minnesotans, with Co-Chairs Reps. McCollum and Paulsen and members Reps. Bachmann, Ellison, and Kline. This arena allows us to address political and cultural exchanges between Norway and America and nurture the rich history that brought hundreds of thousands of Norwegian-Americans to call Minnesota home.

Norwegian immigrants to the 7th District of Minnesota mainly settled in the Red River Valley. Their migration was aided in the early 1870s by the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and later the Northern Pacific Railroad. In fact, by 1875, Norwegian immigrants made up 30 percent of the total population of Polk and Clay counties. To this day, Fertile reports the highest percentage of community residents in Minnesota claiming Norwegian ancestry at a total of 54.4 percent.

The fertile and excellent farm land attracted many Norwegians to the 7th District. Whatever the reason, a number of Norwegian families felt a strong connection to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. One Norwegian immigrant wrote:

What a glorious new Scandinavia might not Minnesota
become! . . . The climate, the situation, the character of the
scenery agrees with our people better than that of any other
of the American States, and none of them appear to me to
have a greater or a more beautiful future before them than
Fredrika Bremer, 1853

National Police Week

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 14th falls as National Police Week. This week we honor police officers who have served and those who have fallen in the line of duty. On Thursday, members of the Law Enforcement community gathered to honor those who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which serves as a memorial to those who have sacrificed their lives protecting our citizens. The memorial serves as a lasting reminder of our officer’s commitment to public service. This year five names will be added from Minnesota, including St. Paul Police Officer Joshua Phillip Lynaugh, who suffered a heart attack during a foot pursuit of a suspect in 2013.

You can find a detailed list of officers from Minnesota who gave their lives in the line of duty through the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by clicking here.

Armed Forces Day – May 17th
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together to thank our military members for their patriotic service. In the proclamation he said that America’s military servicemen “[are] vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment for a desirable peace.” In 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. This joint celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. 

Arlington Turns 150

Section 27, the oldest section in Arlington

This week one of America’s most hallowed grounds turns 150 years old. Arlington National Cemetery was established in 1864 as a necessity of the high number of casualties of the American Civil War. American heroes are buried here from the Revolutionary War to conflicts of today.

Starting this month, Arlington National Cemetery will host a series of events to commemorate the historic milestone. Events include a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the grave of Union Private William Christman, the first military burial at Arlington on May 13th, 1864, special guided tours of each major war, and a lecture on the history of the cemetery.

For more information on Arlington National Cemetery’s 150th Anniversary click here.

ANC Explorer Application

Over the years Arlington National Cemetery has found ways to make visitor’s experiences more powerful and easier than before. For example, they have developed an application called ANC Explorer which visitors can use on their web browser or mobile smart phone. It enables veterans, family members, and the public to further explore Arlington’s history. ANC Explorer users can locate gravesite events, locate a specific grave stone, and offer directions to those locations.

To launch ANC Explorer in your browser right now click here.

Minnesota Museums Month
Replica Norwegian church at the Hjemkomst Center (MOORHEAD)

To raise awareness of the importance of history, art, science, military, and other types of museums, May is Minnesota Museums Month. You don’t have to leave town to have a museum experience since there are museums dedicated to local history all over Minnesota. Whether it’s learning about a man’s lifelong dream of sailing a wooden Viking ship at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, or paying tribute to our veterans at the In Their Own Words Museum in Perham, or reliving old farm life at the Minnesota Machinery Museum in Hanley Falls, the 7th District has its fair share of extraordinary history.

For a list of all museums in Minnesota click here.

Click here for more information about Minnesota Museums Month.

Small Business Week

There is no doubt that small business across the 7th District drive economic growth and job creation. Their innovations are crucial to building prosperity, so May 12th-16th is recognized as National Small Business Week for 2014. This week, as part of National Small Business Week, the National Retail Federation recognized me in a bipartisan group of 258 members of Congress named "Heroes of Main Street" for our support of small business and the U.S. Retail industry. I'm proud to work on behalf of retailers in my district who help to keep our communities strong.

The Small Business Administration launched a $2.5 million competition for accelerators and entrepreneurial models to compete for monetary prizes of $50,000 each. The competition encourages startups in parts of the country where conventional sources of access to capital are more difficult to utilize to compete for the monetary prize. An expert panel of judges will consider each applicant’s stated mission, founding team members, and business goals when choosing their winners.

Small business can get more information on how to apply by clicking here.

Visitors from the 7th

Darrell and Gloria Freeburg (Cordova, TN) and Greg and Diane Schlichting (WILLMAR)

This Week in American History

On May 13th, 1858, the survey for a road from St. Cloud to Breckenridge began. The road was meant to follow the Red River Trails which were a network of ox cart routes connecting Hudson Bay to Ford Garry in British North America. In the middle of that route is a stretch in central Minnesota. Today that road has been expanded and modernized to become Highway 52, which enters Fillmore County in southeastern MN, heads into the Twin Cities, and exits MN in Moorhead.

“Three Branches of Government”
Brady Larson (CROOKSTON)
2013 Congressional Art Competition