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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

2017-2018 Common Read Learning Activites

This LibGuide is an easy way to access all of the Learning Activities available for Out of Chaos, the 2017-2018 Common Read.

Post Office Protests

For background about the Post Office Protests in Mankato, read the following sections in Out of Chaos

1. David Phelps  (pp. 106-119)
2. Dan Quillin (pp. 119-126)

3. Scott Shrewsbury (pp. 136-143)

Significance of the Post Office Building

A. According to the assigned readings, why was the Post Office, located at 401 S. 2nd Street in Mankato, selected as a place for people to come together and protest?

B. In addition to being a Post Office what other government offices were located in the building?

Events at the Post Office

C. On page 122 Dan Quillin writes about a protest vigil at the Post Office on April 25, 1972.

  1. How did the vigil start?  Who was involved?
  2. How long did the vigil last?
  3. How did the community respond to the protest vigil?
  4. Have you ever been involved in an event that started with a just few people and then grew?  If yes, please explain.

D. On page 148, Scott Shrewsbury describes how City Manager Bill Bassett agreed to allow the United States flag to be flown upside down at the Post Office.

  1. What does an upside down American flag communicate?
  2. Was the effect of flying the flag upside down that day positive or negative on the assembled crowd?  Please explain.

E. Read the above article from September 12, 2013, Mankato Free Press newspaper.  Today people continue to meet each Wednesdays at 12 noon, at Jackson Square Park across from the Post Office.  Visit with the protesters at noon on a Wednesday.

  1. Ask them why they meet outside of the Post Office on Wednesdays at noon.
  2. Ask them if they were involved in the protests at Minnesota State College in the 1970s. 

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