By Brian Ojanpa
Tattered from more than a century’s worth of wear, the large billboard montage once touted the Mankato appearance of a world-famous entertainment extravaganza—Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
A headline in the Mankato Daily Free Press a few days later alluded to the performance, describing it as “Mankato Invaded by Indians, Filipinos, Mexicans and Other Picturesque People.”
Did they realize Indians once owned the whole continent and Mexicans owned a third of it? Probably not.
For more on the subject, see "Buffalo Bill and the Indians on the Beach" and Mythologizing the American West.
Below: "Bits and pieces of a billboard uncovered Dec. 1, 2009 by workers re-siding an old house in Mankato, Minn., are from an 1899 billboard touting Buffalo Bill's Wild West show that performed in the community, Sept. 2, 1899. It is suspected that the billboard wasn't placed there as an advertisement but was used years ago as a make-shift housewrap." (AP Photo/John Cross, Mankato Free Press)