Learn about the history of immigration to St. Paul


When did your family come to St. Paul? Has your family been here for generations, or did they just arrive? How do their experiences compare to those of other immigrants and migrants? How does our city’s history look different when we examine it through the lens of the experiences of our diverse community groups?

Here’s a chance to learn more about your own history, the histories of your neighbors, and to put them together like pieces of an historical puzzle.

St. Paul Public Schools Community Education is offering a six-session course on the history of immigration to St. Paul. It will be taught by Macalester History Professor Peter Rachleff, a long-time resident of Dayton’s Bluff. For the past 30 years, Professor Rachleff has taught courses in labor, immigration, and African American, Asian American, and Latino history at Macalester College and Metropolitan State University. The Community Education classes will rely on lectures, reading and discussing historical documents, viewing photographs, films, and maps, and tapping into oral histories and family stories.

The classes will meet on Thursday evenings at Harding High School from 6:30-8:00pm. There will be three classes in Part 1 (winter): February 27 (Irish and Germans); March 6 (Scandinavians); and March 13 (eastern Europeans) – and three classes in Part 2 (spring): April 10 (Mexicans and African Americans); April 17 (Latinos, southeast Asians, and Africans); and April 24 (a discussion of public policy and immigration reform).

You may register for Part 1 ($30) or Part 2 ($30), or, for a discount, Parts 1 and 2 together ($50). Please call the Community Education office at 651-744-5094 to register. Call Professor Rachleff at 651-774-8687 with questions about the classes.