You Think a Dog Park Was Controversial?

After holding public hearings and receiving “various communications objecting to it,” on April 20, 1960, the Minneapolis park board rescinded an agreement with Minneapolis Civil Defense to build a “demonstration atomic bomb fallout protective shelter” in Nicollet Park. The board granted permission to build the demonstration fallout shelter at The Parade instead. Was it ever built? I don’t know.

In 1968 Nicollet Park was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Park. The park was the focus of bitter debate over the past year. The issue was whether converting a small portion of the park into an off-leash dog park would desecrate the memory of Dr. King. The dog park was not built.

During the 1960 meeting at which the board approved the fallout shelter, it granted permission to the Twin City Walk for Peace Committee to hold an open air meeting at The Parade at the conclusion of a “peace walk.”

This 1960 instructional booklet included plans for a fallout shelter, presumably similar to the one Minneapolis Civil Defense wanted to build at The Parade. This image is from authentichistory.com. The booklet is also available for sale on e-Bay at the time of this posting — if you’re still worried, or think it would do any good. As a point of reference, Stanley Kubrick released “Dr. Strangelove” in 1964.

David C. Smith   minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com

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