Spend your lunch hour at the Goodhue County History Center for our monthly free lunchtime program! Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch with them for our History Break programs.
Historian Tom Olson returns to provide a fresh look at the themes discussed in his book, Sheldon’s Gift: Music, Movies and Melodrama in the Desirable City. Olson will explore the early financial struggles of the Sheldon were attributed to the separation of highbrow and lowbrow culture and entertainment in the late 19th century before moving to the 1940s and 1950s issues based on federal court cases and the differences in taste between rural and urban moviegoers.
Tom Olson grew up in Red Wing, graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls in 1964 and received an M.A. in American History from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He then taught at what is now Minnesota State University in Mankato. After receiving a Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Minnesota he became Associate Director of Research Administration at the University of Minnesota with primary responsibility for university relations with private foundations and the State of Minnesota. Olson later began a comprehensive development program for The Saint Paul Academy and Summit Schools, created planned and endowment giving programs at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Fairview hospitals and the Courage Center. He was also a capital, endowment, and planned gifts consultant for arts organizations and numerous other not-for-profits and wrote extensively about computerized development management systems, charitable trusts, and capital and endowment campaigns.
Upon retirement Olson returned to history pursuits. His book, Sheldon’s Gift: Music, Movies and Melodrama in the Desirable City was published in 2009 and he is currently at work on a book about Minnesota politics in the 1960’s and 70’s. He has two daughters and five grandchildren who live in Minneapolis. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico since 2008.
Copies of his book, Sheldon’s Gift, are available in the History Center gift shop or via the online store.