Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Obama writes Ely a letter, puts town in spotlight

Author:

Ely, Minn., is drawing national attention on the second Inauguration Day for President Barack Obama, after he sent the town a hand-written note, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Community members asked the president for a letter for a time capsule to be encased for the next 50 years in a brick wall at Vermilion Community College, the newspaper reported.

Now the population-3,460 town on the edge of the Boundary Waters in the north woods is expected to be featured in a Monday segment on NBC's "The Today Show."

Ely resident Gerry Snyder wrote to the president on a whim, and was surprised to find a response in his mailbox, reports the Ely Echo, which has a copy of Obama's letter.

"A select bunch of letters go to him and it's a tribute to him that he actually reads them," Snyder told the newspaper. "I think it's his mechanism to reach out beyond the normalcy of the presidency. He lives in a bubble."

Obama wrote in part, “Fifty years from now, I hope we have managed the balance between our energy needs and our need to preserve the planet so that the wilderness surrounding Ely remains as spectacular as you describe.”

See "The Today Show" video story below.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Next Up

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotan infected with omicron was vaccinated, had booster shot

The Hennepin County man received his booster shot in early November.

Timothy William Tuit

2 people plead guilty in fatal Dakota County home invasion

Two others charged in the incident will go to trial next year.

south lake minnetonka police department

25-year-old arrested after multi-city police chase in western suburbs

Police were called for a welfare check but learned it was a domestic violence incident.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 8.34.54 AM

After getting COVID, Harrison Smith still not considering vaccine

The Vikings safety says he doesn't plan on getting vaccinated.

covid

First omicron variant COVID case detected in MN

The individual is an adult male who lives in Hennepin County and had recently traveled.

wright county Sheriff Sean Deringer

Minnesota sheriff bashes MPD, 'disgusted' by officers' actions

The sheriff said he will no longer defend the Minneapolis Police Department.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 7.59.52 AM

More than 2 years after announcing, Duck Donuts finally opens at MOA

The grand opening of the new location took place Wednesday.

Related

Obama writes 5th-grader 'executive excuse'

Tyler Sullivan, 11, met Barack Obama after the president's speech at Honeywell in Golden Valley on Friday. When the boy admitted to Obama that he was missing school, the president wrote his teacher a note: "Mr. Ackerman, Please excuse Tyler. He was with me. Barack Obama."

Ely escapes wildfire disaster

Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest 216-acre fire Thursday that burned to the edge of popular tourist town Ely. Some nervous residents were briefly evacuated, but no injuries were reported and officials say no occupied homes were lost.

Ely wildfire 100 percent contained

Fire officials have declared a 175-acre wildfire that threatened the popular northeastern Minnesota tourist town of Ely to be completely contained. The containment effort got help from about 1.5 inches of rain that fell this weekend.