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Minnesota (Mn): State Guide and Fun Facts


When did Minnesota become a state?
May 11, 1858

Who were the first explorers in Minnesota?
Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medard des Groseilliers; French

First Native American settlers:
Dakota Sioux and Ojibwe Tribes

Square Miles:
86,943

US Rank:
12th

State Flower:
Lady Slipper

State Bird:
Common Loon

State Motto:
“L’Etoile du Nor” The Star of the North

Capital City

St. Paul
St. Paul, the capital city of Minnesota, was formed before the state of Minnesota was declared. At the beginning of the 19th century, an American Army officer founded a trading post and fort on the site which is now St. Paul. The area had time to grow, and by 1849, when Minnesota was named a territory, St. Paul was named its capital city. When the state became part of the US, the capital remained the same.

Today, St. Paul is one half of the twin cities; the other city is Minneapolis. The two cities are across the Mississippi River from each other. The economy today is based on government, high technology software and hardware development and energy sciences.

What is Minnesota famous for?

1. Mall of America
Since opening its doors in 1992, Mall of America® has revolutionized the shopping experience and become a leader in retail, entertainment and attractions. Mall of America is one of the top tourist destinations in the country as well as one of the most recognizable brands.

2. Land of 10,000 Lakes
Immortalized on the state license plate, among other things, Minnesota is known around North America as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota actually has some 11,840+ lakes within its boundaries, over 6,500 rivers and streams, and it is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca.

The total acreage of the lakes in Minnesota is approximately 10.6 million, which is second only to Alaska, which measures more than seven times the size of Minnesota.

3. Mines
For more than 100 years, Minnesota has owed a large portion of the state’s GDP to the mining and subsequent production from extracted ore. The state is one of the country’s largest miners of iron ore. The original high grade deposits have run dry, but other ores continue to be mined, manufactured and shipped from the state all over the country.

What is Minnesota’s economy?

1. Agriculture
Minnesota is a large agricultural state, producing about 4% of the nation’s total agriculture income annually. The top products in terms of livestock are hogs, cattle and calves. Other livestock raised include turkeys and chickens. The primary crops grown in the state are corn and soybeans. Other crops include hay, sugar beets, wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes and apples.

2. Manufacturing
Minnesota is a leading manufacturer of computer parts including medical devices and communications parts. The major food industries in Minnesota are meatpacking, flour, cake mixes, cereals, milk, dairy products and frozen and canned vegetables.

3. Services
The services industry in Minnesota includes most importantly, small businesses, private health care companies, computer programming, data processing and repair shops. Wholesale and retail trade account for the remaining services that generate income for the state.

Minnesota Historical Landmarks

1. Mill City Museum
The Mill City Museum is located within the former Washburn “A” Mill. When it was built, the mill was the largest flour mill and the world, and one of the most technologically advanced of its kind. Its capacity at peak was approximately two million pounds of flour per day.

The Washburn “A” Mill was located close to the Pillsbury A Mill. Together, the mills created the industry that Minneapolis was centered around during the mid and late 19th century, and beginning half of the 20th century.

2. F. Scott Fitzgerald House
Located in St. Paul Minnesota, Summit Terrace is the row house that was home to famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald. The home was designed by architects William Wilcox and Clarence Johnston. The home originally belonged to his parents and was the location at which Fitzgerald wrote and gained inspiration for a number of his novels.

3. Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
The state park is located in Little Falls, Minnesota, and includes the acreage that used to belong to the Lindbergh family. The current house located on the property was a rebuild of the original, after it burned in a fire. The second home was built by the family in 1905 and was their home until Charles Sr. died in 1924. The home was often looted after it was abandoned by those wishing to snatch a piece of Charles Jr.’s fame. In 1931, the state of Minnesota received the Lindbergh family’s donation of the property and its buildings in hopes that the historical societies in Minnesota would adopt the preservation and eventual restoration of the property.
Today, the grounds are fully restored.