The following video is the earliest known video of anything “Northfield”, let alone that of a “Defeat of Jesse James Days” band raid reenactment. The Minnesota Historical Society has given us permission to share this gem. While it’s labeled “1949” it is in fact the first “Jesse James Day” that was held during the Fall Festival in 1948. The first portion of the video is the reenactment and the latter is of the Grand Parade, both of which were held in the vicinity of Bridge Square. The video is just over 2 minutes.

​The video was shot by a Kinescope camera, which NBC-TV officially introduced in June 1948. Kinescope made high-quality television recordings and was used to transmit delayed television programs shot on film. Kinescope technology was used until 1956 when videotape recorders debuted.​

KSTP first shot the footage and donated its collection to the Minnesota Historical Society which converted it to this digital medium. Credit KSTP-TV Archives and the Minnesota Historical Society.

Interesting in learning more about the history of our celebration? Here’s a great historical write-up by Susan Hvistendahl that appeared in the Entertainment Guide. 

MN Collection Online System