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Minnesota History

Minnesota is not just a great place to live and study but also a place with a fascinating history and many historical landmarks.

Minnesota became the 32nd state in the United States on May 11, 1858. Over the course of the decades that followed Minnesota has been the stage for cultural development, technological advancement and the home of great leaders. It is where the first successful open heart surgery was completed, it was at the forefront of America’s industrial development, and it is/was the home of leaders in culture, business and the sporting world.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (author), Roger Maris (athlete), Bob Dylan (musician), Josh Hartnett (actor), Judy Garland (actress), Lindsey Vonn (Olympic gold-midlist in skiing), Laura Ingalls Wilder (author), Greg LeMond (winner of the Tour de France), Charles Lindberg (aviator), Joel and Ethan Cohen (film directors), Walter Mondale (politician and former US Vice President), the Mayo brothers (physicians and founders of the Mayo Clinic) and Prince (musician) are all native Minnesotans. As you will see during your studies at Minnesota, we are a state with a colorful past and a bright future.

Minnesota Historical Places

Minnesota History Center

An interactive museum with both permanent and changing exhibits, the Minnesota History Center hosts concerts, lectures, family days and other special events throughout the year. The building is also home to the Minnesota Historical Society library and archives, a research destination for schoolchildren, family historians and academics.”

James J. Hill House

Rugged stone, massive scale, fine detail and ingenious mechanical systems recall the powerful presence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway. Guides lead tours that help you imagine family and servant life in the Gilded Age mansion, the setting of the public and private lives of the Hill family. Visit the James J. Hill House.

Mill City Museum

Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Shipwrecks from a mighty 1905 November gale prompted this rugged landmark’s construction. Completed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910, Split Rock Light Station was soon one of Minnesota’s best known landmarks. Restored to its 1920s appearance, the lighthouse offers a glimpse of lighthouse life in this remote and spectacular setting.

Historic Fort Snelling

Built in the early 1820s, Historic Fort Snelling is a great place to learn about military history from before the Civil War through World War II, fur trade history, slavery in Minnesota, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, and much more! Its location – at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers – has been significant for centuries to many American Indian communities.

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