BEMIDJI – A piece of the city’s history will travel the country next year.
An ad published in the Bemidji Pioneer on March 7, 1972, in support of the Bemidji High School hockey team’s first trip to the state tournament will be part of an upcoming Smithsonian traveling exhibit titled “Hometown Teams.”
Under a black and white photo of the team, the ad reads, “We’re rooting for you to become state champs.”
That wouldn’t come to fruition, however, since the hockey title was won that year by International Falls.
But maybe more importantly, the ad continues: “The whole city is proud of you!”
The exhibit starts its tour in February 2014 and runs until January 2021.
Susan Wachowski, a contractor for the Museums on Main Street department at the Smithsonian, said the ad was found by a colleague who did a simple Internet search of small-town papers and athletic conference titles in that town.
She said the exhibit is still in the development phase, and tour stops in Minnesota have not been scheduled yet. It’s possible the exhibit could come to Bemidji, considering that it’s making stops in smaller communities.
“The whole goal of Museums on Main Street is to produce exhibits that can be shown in rural and small communities,” Wachowski said. “Basically our whole tagline is that we’re bringing the Smithsonian to them.”
The exhibit is focused on local athletics and is divided into several sections.
“Hometown Teams focuses on small, local teams as well as college and professional athletics to show the spirit, diversity and love of sports all across America,” Wachowski wrote in an email. “The Lumberjacks State Champions ad will go in the Community Pride section and highlights the ways in which different communities come together to support local teams.”