Due to reasons stemming from the fact that my significant other grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota, I am presently in Mitchell, less than a mile, even, from said (and World’s Only) Corn Palace. So, I’m going to write about it.
A Brief History of the World’s Only Corn Palace
The first iteration of the Corn Palace was built in 1892 “as a way to prove to the world that South Dakota had a healthy agricultural climate,” an issue which had been hotly debated in the very real agricultural climate salons of the 1880s prior to the erection of this first virile — and quite flammable — Corn Palace, which was then and remains to this day the World’s Only Corn Palace.
Since its inception, it has featured new murals on its outer walls on an almost yearly basis, with exceptions coming during the years of the World Wars (when some of the murals were partially painted to save valuable corn for the war efforts), and times of great laziness, like 1982.
What the World’s Only Corn Palace Has to Do With the World’s Only Worthwhile Sport, AKA Baseball
Not much, is the answer to that. The theme of the 2012 Corn Palace murals — which, btw, were the only Corn Palace murals in the world in 2012 — was “Saluting Youth Activities.” Among the activities afforded their own corn murals were cheerleading, greco-roman wrestling, gymnastics, cross country, golf, tennis, football, dancing, and hockey, among others. Baseball and basketball shared a mural, with baseball receiving roughly 35-40% of the mural’s space.
Another Thing That the World’s Only Corn Palace Appears to Hate
Another thing that the World’s Only Corn Palace appears to hate is the World’s Best State in the United States of America: Wisconsin.
In addition to the above visual evidence for the Corn Palace’s hatred of Wisconsin, the author would like to note that at the Corn Palace Gift Shop, which is located across the and operated independently from the World’s Only Corn Palace, had available for purchase souvenir magnets in the shapes of all 50 states, including Washington, DC and multiple varieties of some states except Wisconsin. Lame-ass shit.
Perhaps there is an all-baseball theme on the docket for the Corn Palace Murals. But until I learn of such intentions, I remain deeply disappointed in the Corn Palace’s negligence in memorializing our national pastime. The corn mural themes have mostly sought to celebrate American culture (such as it is) and to have neglected baseball for over 100 years is unforgivable.
Other things that deserve their own year of Corn Palace murals: jazz, hot dogs. As to whether I expect the Corn Palace to do justice to subjects like baseball and jazz: as far as justice could be done to such subjects using murals made of corn, one might as well trust the Corn Palace, lest no corn murals be constructed, and corn murals are the epitome of commemoration. Also, it appears the treatment of the mural themes ends at the murals themselves; the Corn Palace doesn’t go out of its way to provide literature or programming regarding the themes.