This Day in Minnesota History

February 22, 1980

The United States Olympic Hockey team defeats the Soviet Union in a match that becomes known as the Miracle on Ice.

This Day in Minnesota History

March 13, 1961

Governor Elmer L. Andersen signs a law that identifies a Minnesota state bird: the loon.

Anti-Vietnam War Movement, 1963-1973

During the Second Indochinese War between communist North Vietnam and US-backed South Vietnam (1955‒1975), the US government escalated American involvement in Southeast Asia. In response, anti-war activists and university students in Minnesota, along with demonstrators across the nation, took to the streets to protest.


Riverfest, an annual summer celebration in Windom first held in 1957, has its roots in an earlier celebration known as Flax Day. Under each name, the event has thrived and brought together people in the area for fun and festivities.

Cottonwood County Blizzard of 1936

Early twentieth-century winters in Minnesota were a hardship for the state’s residents―including those of Cottonwood County. Newcomers, hearing stories about the weather, soon learned that the accounts weren't exaggerated. A few storms stand out, but the blizzard of 1936 topped them all.

Influenza Epidemic in Minnesota, 1918

“I had a little bird, its name was Enza. I opened the window, and In-Flu-Enza!” Children innocently sang this rhyme while playing and skipping rope during the 1918 influenza pandemic that caused an estimated fifty million deaths worldwide. 675,000 of these were in the United States; over 10,000 were in Minnesota.

Flax Day

During the 1940s, Cottonwood County produced so many acres of flax that Windom, the county seat, came to be known as the “Flax Capital of the World.” Between 1948 and 1956, the city celebrated this distinction by hosting an annual event called Flax Day.

Sandy Lake Tragedy

In the fall and early winter of 1850, the US government forced thousands of Lake Superior Ojibwe to leave their homeland in Wisconsin and gather at Sandy Lake, in Minnesota Territory, to receive an annual treaty payment. When the money never arrived and the government provided spoiled rations, many tried to return to Wisconsin. As a result, about 400 Ojibwe people died from starvation, disease, and exposure in what is known as the Sandy Lake Tragedy.

Anoka Halloween Celebration

Anoka, Minnesota, became the Halloween Capital of the World in 1937. The title recognizes its status as one of the first cities to discourage Halloween tricks by hosting a city-wide party: the Anoka Halloween Celebration.

Minneapolis Aquatennial

Started in 1940 by a group of businessmen looking to promote their city nationally, the Minneapolis Aquatennial has been drawing crowds every July since for parades, pageantry, and crowd events, highlighting Minneapolis’s status as the “City of Lakes.”


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