The state of Minnesota modestly presents itself as the land of 10,000 lakes, but the state actually comes with over 15,000 lakes. Some historic experts believe that the state’s history goes all the way back to the days of the Viking explorers around the 1300’s, and indeed has Minnesota for a long time attracted many immigrants from the Scandinavian region.
Minnesota is agriculturally important. Some 3 million cattle are grazing on its rich pastures, and the state produces more butter than anywhere else and is leading the nation in the production of milk and cheese.
The state is cherishing a world-famous research center for medical care (the Mayo Clinic), and Minnesota’s system of state universities is ranking among America’s largest and best. Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities, are a modern and leading center of theater, music, and shopping.
The area has been ranked as America’s most livable urban area, and another great attraction of the Twin Cities is the biggest shopping mall in the nation.
Quick Facts about Minnesota
– Minnesota is the source of the Mississippi River.
– It is the only state where three main river systems originate (Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Red River of the North).
– Main source of manganese in America.
– Has a unique state flower, the Lady’s slipper.
– Minnesota is an open-pit mining pioneer.
– Minnesota is an overland bus travel pioneer.
Minnesota brief history
There are experts who believe that Minnesota was already reached by European explorers in the 1300s. This conviction is based on artifacts like the Kensington Runestone, a carving found near Kensington. But most experts think this find is a hoax. The first documented visit by European explorers was made in 1679 when Daniel Greysolon, Sieur de Lhut came to the region at what is now Duluth. In early 1727 the French set up a few trading posts that were however taken over in 1763 by English settlers.
1787 was the year of the Northwest Ordinance which brought the larger part of eastern Minnesota under U.S. rule, while the 1803 Louisiana Purchase made that most of the western portions of Minnesota also became under U.S. control. Zebulon Pike, in 1805, made for the first time the new U.S. flag fly over Minnesota but at that time, the British troops didn’t pay much attention to claims of the U.S until the War of 1812 settled Minnesota ownership disputes.
Josiah Snelling, an American colonel, started constructing the fort that bears his name in 1820. He founded it at the location where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers join together. In the year 1832, Henry Schoolcraft found the long-sought-after source of the mighty Mississippi River, and he called it Lake Itasca, and in 1838 both Minneapolis and St.Paul were established separately.
The major part of the northern boundary of Minnesota was established by the 1842 Webster-Ashburton Treaty, and in 1858, on May 11th, Minnesota was allowed into the Union as the 32nd state, and Henry H. Sibley was its first governor. The borderline of the Lake of the Woods though, which extended into Canada, never got settled until the year 1873.
At the time of the Civil War, the state of Minnesota offered troops first, and Minnesota forces played a prominent during the Battle of Gettysburg. In the year 1862 Indians of the Sioux tribe went violent and uncontrollable, and Governor Sibley finally put an end to the warfare as he imprisoned some 2,000 Sioux.
Minnesota’s Capitol was opened in 1905 and the structure boasts the largest unsupported marble dome in the world. World War I called almost 125,000 Minnesota residents to war, and the dramatic year 1936 brought a unique victory to the state’s Farmer-Labor party, a left-wing political party that was dominating Minnesota politics at the time of the Great Depression. During World War II, over 300,000 Minnesotans fought for the good cause, and more than 6,000 gave their lives.
After the mighty St. Lawrence Seaway was opened in 1959, more and more ocean traffic came to Duluth’s great port, and much-loved Hubert Humphrey served under Lyndon Johnson as vice president from 1965 to 1969. In the period 1977 – 1981, Walter Mondale from Minnesota served as vice president under President Jimmy Carter.
… Well, Minnesotans are just a little different, that’s all there is to it…
… And when the wind chill factor is hovering at fifty-five below…
… We saw all these enthusiastic Minnesotans running around in the outdoors, happy as they were, like lambs in the spring…