Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Cokato Winter Ice Carnivals." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1998) vol. 18 no. 1.
Cokato Winter Carnival Speed Skating Competition in Peterson Park.
When most people think of Cokato festivals, the Corn Carnival usually comes to mind. But in Minnesota, as the St. Paul Winter Carnival has shown, those cold months of December through February can be fertile ground for some fun times. So in December 1939, when members of the Cokato Association for Public Affairs (a forerunner of the Cokato Chamber of Commerce) proposed some sort of winter festival for Cokato, nobody found it an odd idea.
Article by William A. Eliason from the Cokato Historical Society's newsletter In the Midst Of, December, 1985, Vol. 3 No. 4.
1910 Temerance Corner Youth League Gymnastics Club. William Eliason is front row far right
Having been invited to contribute something on the above subject I am glad to offer some reminiscences from my early teens (on the 23rd of November  I was 89).
Our rather sudden interest in athletics may have been a result of the success of Finland's entrants in the 1912 Olympic Games, in several gold medals won by them in the long distance races. Be that as it may, about that time an athletic club was organized, which held its meetings at the Temperance Hall—a center of the Finnish community. The leader of the group was my neighbor Peter Thompson, who was a respected farmer and well qualified to be an athletic director, since he possessed an admirable physique.
Mike Worcester In the Midst May, 2003 (vol 23, no 2), copywright Cokato Historical Society.
The origins of the American Legion date to the months immediately following the end of the Great War (later called World War I). In March 1919, a gathering of 1,000 veterans of that war gathered in Paris and adopted a charter and temporary constitution. This group completed its organizational efforts in St. Louis, in May 1919, making plans for a permanent home in New York. Congress granted the Legion a national charter in September 1919, a its inaugural national convention was held in Minneapolis that same month. In 2001, the Legion had over three million members spread across 16,000 local posts. Though the Legion is not the only veterans organization in America, it is by far the largest.
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