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Minnesota is a state of the northern United States bordering on Lake Superior and on Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. It was admitted as the 32nd state in 1858. First explored by the French in the mid-17th century, the area became part of the United States through the Treaty of Paris (1783) and the Louisiana Purchase (1803). St. Paul is the capital and Minneapolis the largest city. Population: 5,130,000.

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Minnesota lake

Native American Sioux and Chippewa Indians lived in Minnesota when French fur-traders landed in Two Harbors in 1660. Following the visits of several French explorers, fur traders, and missionaries, including Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, and sieur de la Salle, the region was claimed for Louis XIV by Daniel Greysolon, sieur Duluth, in 1679. He claimed the entire region for France.

Spain receives Louisiana Territory (includes Minnesota west of the Mississippi River) from France in compensation for its loss of Florida during the Seven Years War. However, Spain did little to explore or settle the region and France continued fur trading. At the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, Great Britain wins claim to what is now eastern North America (east of the Mississippi River) and Canada, including eastern Minnesota.

The end of the Revolutionary War in 1787 the U.S. acquired eastern Minnesota from Great Britain and 20 years later bought the western part from France in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Much of the region was explored by U.S. Army Lt. Zebulon M. Pike before the northern strip of Minnesota bordering Canada was ceded by Britain in 1818. All of Minnesota was now owned by the United States.

In 1824 Fort St. Anthony was built where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet. Fort St. Anthony completed. Name changed to Fort Snelling in Honor of Colonel Josiah Snelling's work. Fort Snelling became a place of industry and growth rather than just a military post. In 1837, Land-cession treaties negotiated with the Dakota Indians and the Chippewa Indians for United States rights to a portion of land between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. This new land stimulates the lumber industry in Minnesota. Loggers and farmers settled the first small towns of Minnesota, including St. Paul, St. Anthony (Minneapolis), and Stillwater.

Minnesota belonged to many territories before it became its own on March 3, 1849. with present day eastern and southern boundaries set. The population amounts to less than 4000 people, not including persons of pure Native-American heritage. Law provides for free public schools to be open to all people between four and twenty-one years of age. Minnesota Historical Society formed to collect, publish, and educate people about Minnesota history. Soon afterward, at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota with the Dakota Indians whereby the Dakota ceded their lands east of the Red River, Lake Traverse, and the Big Dakota River and south of a boundary line between the Dakota and Chippewa in 1825. In return the Dakota received $1,665,000 US, $1,360,000 of which was set into a trust fund, of which the interest would be distributed to chiefs partly in cash, partly in supplies, and partly in education and civilization funds

Minnesota became the 32nd state admitted to the Union of the United States of America. State on May 11, 1858 with St. Paul as the state capital and the seal adopted by the Minnesota Legislature. The Civil War began two years later and Minnesota became the first state to offer troops for the Union armies. Minnesota volunteers one thousand men for service in the Union Army. Minnesota eventually provides 24,000 men for service in the Union Army for fighting in the Civil War or the Indian Outbreak. During this time, the Indians angry from lack of food went to war against Minnesota. With many of the men gone to fight for the Union, federal troops had to come help stop the war.

During the late 1800s, industrial development rapidly took place. Wheat farms were started in southern Minnesota and Minneapolis became one of the world's leading flour centers. Railroads expanded and their advertisements brought thousands of immigrants from Europe to settle the state. Iron ore was discovered and shipped from the Vermilion Range and the Mesabi Range. Duluth became a great port city and the Mayo Clinic, a general medical center that would become one of the world's leading medical research centers, was founded.

In 1917, The United States of America enters World War I. 118,497 men from Minnesota serve in the war. The following year, a huge forest fire killed more than 400 people and destroyed $25 million in property. Minnesotans formed the Farmer-Labor party to help farmers and factory workers.

The Great Depression left 70% of ironworkers without jobs. Farm income fell. State and federal governments helped people to keep their farms and provide them with jobs. World War II (1939-1945) helped the economy to recover from the Depression. Factories were busy making parts for airplanes, weapons and ships. World War II ends with 6,255 American servicemen from Minnesota giving their lives for their country.

Industry expanded and changed after the war. Some of these industries are electronic equipment, computers, chemicals, and heavy machinery. The iron ore industry changed and began to develop taconite ore. Farms decreased and many people moved to the cities.

The last American military personnel leave Vietnam with the evacuation of the United States embassy in Saigon, completely ending American involvement in Vietnam and the Vietnam War. 1,053 Minnesotans gave their lives over the course of the war.

In 1991 when Operation Desert Storm occurs with there were approximately 11,000 Minnesotans in uniform helping to defeat Iraq and liberate Kuwait. The Minnesota Twins win the World Series. A record-breaking snowstorm hits Minnesota on November 1 depositing twenty-four inches of snow in twenty-four hours.

Recently, Minnesota's state government has also made changes. Laws were passed favoring industry and protecting the environment from pollution. Districts were changed to provide the city equal representation in state legislature. Education received an increase in financial aid and beginning in 1987 families could choose which schools they wanted their children to attend.


  • Minnesotan baseball commentator Halsey Hal was the first to say 'Holy Cow' during a baseball broadcast.
  • The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields --- 9.5 million square feet.
  • Minnesota Inventions: Masking and Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, HMOs, the bundt pan, Aveda beauty products, and Green Giant vegetables
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 allowing oceangoing ships to reach Duluth.
  • Minneapolis is home to the oldest continuously running theater (Old Log Theater) and the largest dinner theater (Chanhassan Dinner Theater) in the country.
  • The original name of the settlement that became St. Paul was Pig's Eye. Named for the French-Canadian whiskey trader, Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, who had led squatters to the settlement.
  • The world's largest pelican stands at the base of the Mill Pond dam on the Pelican River, right in downtown Pelican Rapids. The 15 1/2 feet tall concrete statue was built in 1957.
  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country.
  • The Guthrie Theater is the largest regional playhouse in the country.
  • Minneapolis’ famed skyway system connecting 52 blocks (nearly five miles) of downtown makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside.
  • Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country.
  • The climate-controlled Metrodome is the only facility in the country to host a Super Bowl, a World Series and a NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship.
  • Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
  • The nation’s first Better Business Bureau was founded in Minneapolis in 1912.
  • The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States were done at the University of Minnesota.
  • Bloomington and Minneapolis are the two farthest north latitude cities to ever host a World Series game.
  • Madison is the "Lutefisk capital of the United States".
  • Rochester is home of the world famous Mayo Clinic. The clinic is a major teaching and working facility. It is known world wide for its doctor's expertise and the newest methods of treatments.
  • The Bergquist cabin, built in 1870 by John Bergquist, a Swedish immigrant, is the oldest house in Moorhead still on its original site.
  • For many years, the world's largest twine ball has sat in Darwin. It weighs 17,400 pounds, is twelve feet in diameter, and was the creation of Francis A. Johnson.
  • The stapler was invented in Spring Valley.
  • In 1956, Southdale, in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, was the first enclosed climate-controlled suburban Shop50states.
  • Private Milburn Henke of Hutchinson was the first enlisted man to land with the first American Expeditionary Force in Europe in WWII on January 26, 1942.
  • The first practical water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph W. Samuelson, who steam-bent 2 eight-foot-long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat on a lake in Lake City.
  • In Olivia a single half-husked cob towers over a roadside gazebo. It is 25 feet tall, made of fiberglass, and has been up since 1973.
  • The first Children's department in a Library is said to be that of the Minneapolis Public Library, which separated children's books from the rest of the collection in Dec. 1889.
  • The first Automatic Pop-up toaster was marketed in June 1926 by McGraw Electric Co. in Minneapolis under the name Toastmaster. The retail price was $13.50.
  • On September 2, 1952, a 5 year old girl was the first patient to under go a heart operation in which the deep freezing technique was employed. Her body temperature, except for her head, was reduced to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Floyd Lewis at the Medical School of the University of Minnesota performed the operation.
  • The first Aerial Ferry was put into Operation on April 9, 1905, over the ship canal between Duluth to Minnesota Point. It had room enough to accommodate 6 automobiles. Round trip took 10 min.
  • Rollerblades were the first commercially successful in-line Roller Skates. Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson invented them in 1980, when they were looking for a way to practice Hockey during the off-season. Their design was an ice hockey boot with 3 inline wheels instead of a blade.
  • The first Intercollegiate Basketball game was played in Minnesota on February 9,1895.
  • In 1919 a Minneapolis factory turned out the nations first armored cars.
  • Tonka Trucks were developed and are continued to be manufactured in Minnetonka.
  • Hormel Company of Austin marketed the first canned ham in 1926. Hormel introduced Spam in 1937.
  • Introduced in August 1963, The Control Data 6600, designed by Control Data Corp. of Chippewa Falls, was the first Super Computer. It was used by the military to simulate nuclear explosions and break Soviet codes. These computers also were used to model complex phenomena such as hurricanes and galaxies.
  • Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. Mars marketed the Snickers bar in 1930 and introduced the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers bar contained 3 bars in one wrapper. Each with different flavor nougat.
  • A Jehovah's Witness was the first patient to receive a transfusion of artificial blood in 1979 at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He had refused a transfusion of real blood because of his religious beliefs.
  • Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any other state.
  • There are 201 Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, and 123 Rice Lakes commonly named in Minnesota.
  • The Hull-Rust mine in Hibbing became the largest open-pit mine in the world.
  • Minnesota's waters flow outward in three directions: north to Hudson Bay in Canada, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • At the confluence of the Big Fork and Rainy Rivers on the Canadian border near International Falls stands the largest Indian burial mound in the upper midwest. It is known as the Grand Mound historic site.
  • Author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived on Plum Creek near Walnut Grove.
  • Akeley is birthplace and home of world's largest Paul Bunyan Statue. The kneeling Paul Bunyan is 20 feet tall. He might be the claimed 33 feet tall, if he were standing.
  • Hibbing is the birthplace of the American bus industry. It sprang from the business acumen of Carl Wickman and Andrew "Bus Andy" Anderson - who opened the first bus line (with one bus) between the towns of Hibbing and Alice in 1914. The bus line grew to become Greyhound Lines, Inc.
  • The first official hit in the Metrodome in Minneapolis was made by Pete Rose playing for the Cincinnati Reds in a preseason game.
  • Polaris Industries of Roseau invented the snowmobile.
  • Twin Cities-based Northwest Airlines was the first major airline to ban smoking on international flights.
  • Alexander Anderson of Red Wing discovered the processes to puff wheat and rice giving us the indispensable rice cakes.
  • In 1898, the Kensington Rune stone was found on the farm of Olaf Ohman, near Alexandria. The Kensington Rune stone carvings allegedly tell of a journey of a band of Vikings in 1362.

External links

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Minnesota United States MN US