The Defeat of Jesse James Days (DJJD) website states the Northfield, Mn. celebration began in 1948 as part of the Northfield Fall Festival.  KDHL Radio went on the air in Faribault, Mn. in 1948.  That means both turn 70 this year.  We will talk about his years DJJD celebration on our AM Minnesota program at Professional Pride Realty in Northfield this morning at 9:30 a.m.

I saw some information on the Defeat of Jesse James Days website indicating the Northfield Fall Festival had been in existence for a couple of years prior to adding a "Jesse James Day" on the Saturday of the celebration.  A couple of the residents of Northfield decided to do a bank raid re-enactment and the rest as they say is history.

I believe 1951 the celebration button first touted Defeat of Jesse James Days and it's grown into one of Minnesota's largest celebrations.  It is the largest all-volunteer event in the state.  September 7, 1876 was the date of the attempted robbery and Defeat of Jesse James Days celebrates the bravery of the townspeople that day.

In 1983 the event began the Joseph Lee Heywood Distinguished Service Award which is given to a Northfield citizen displaying the same civic duty Heywood did on that fateful day.  He was the bank teller who refused to open the safe for the would-be robbers and was killed by one of the gang members.

This year's honorees are Noel and Lois Stratmoen.  The list of recipients over the years is a virtual who's who of Northfield residents including a couple of former Governors. Dennison native Al Quie in 1983 and Northfield native Karl Rolvaag in 1987.

The celebration dates are September 5th-9th this year but the Horseshoe Hunt is August 29th through September 3rd and a Golf Tournament will be held Thursday, August 30th at Willinger's Golf Course.

A Graveside Memorial Service is held at the grave of Heywood in Northfield Cemetery across from the high school on September 5th to begin the event.  That night the Joseph Lee Heywood Distinguished Service Award Banquet will be held at the Northfield Ballroom.

If you can't listen to the program this morning we should have the show available on the website by mid-afternoon.

DJJD 1989 Drawing I Own. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
DJJD 1989 Drawing I Own. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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