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Museum to host hidden history happy hour

Women's undergarments from all eras will be featured in the first Hidden History Happy Hour Feb. 8. Pippi Mayfield/Record

Did you know that back in the day, females started wearing corsets at age 3 to shape their bodies? Did you know there were crotchless panties in the 1800s?

These and other interesting -- though maybe not usually spoken about -- facts about women's undergarments will be showcased at the Becker County Historical Society's first Hidden History Happy Hour on Feb. 8. It is also part of the Polar Fest celebration.

"They are interesting tidbits but never made the front page of the newspaper," Executive Director Amy Degerstrom said of such topics as moonshining, brothels, bootlegging, crime and more.

"As we were doing research for people, reading through old newspapers, we'd come across these stories," she said.

They were the stories that were hidden on page 10, but that made for the most interesting news. She said the staff would read them out loud to each other at the museum, and they started to file them away for a future series such as this.

"It was the framework to develop this series."

Each month the historical society will host a new topic in a new location throughout Becker County.

When she worked at the Ramsey House several years ago, Degerstrom said they would host an event each year that told about these less talked about subjects, and it was a huge hit.

"So I combined those two ideas and thought maybe we could get in a different kind of audience -- people who think that history may be dull," she said.

"And who doesn't like happy hour," she added with a laugh.

While the event is open to anyone, she said she's hoping that the moms who get kicked out of the Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance that evening at the Holmes Theatre will come check out the Hidden History Happy Hour.

There will be food provided by Lush Lola's and drinks by La Barista. Cost is $10 a ticket in advance or $12 at the door.

The museum has quite a variety of undergarments, and there's plenty of history to share about each one.

"Because we are who we are and where we live, we don't want to ask those questions," she said.

She's hoping to break that stigma and have people enjoy learning about the more "underside" part of Becker County.

"It's meant to be very social," she said of the event.

The evening begins at 7 with some socializing, followed by Degerstrom's presentation on the various eras of undergarments, how they shaped trends and women's bodies and plenty of other interesting facts.

You may be surprised what you'll learn.

She'll also talk about the "ideal" woman over the years and "what that means and how it changes."

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.