On February 22, 1854, the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad completed the first rail line to connect the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. To promote that feat the company contacted notable East Coast citizens and journalists and invited them to ride their train to Rock Island. From there, the visitors took a steamboat trip up the Mississippi, stopping at St. Paul. The journalists, pleased with what they saw, wrote of the beauty and splendor of a region that many in the East thought was little more than a wilderness.
The 1830 Treaty of Prairie du Chien set aside 320,000 acres of potentially valuable land west of Lake Pepin for "half-breed" members of the Dakota nation. The move set off a series of events that would enrich a number of early Minnesotans, none of Indian heritage.
The Ada Village Hall served as the center for local government in Ada for over a century. It was an important public meeting hall and social facility through the 1970s. Architecturally, the building is an excellent example of the combined city hall and fire hall buildings that were constructed in Minnesota during the early 1900s.
Adas Israel Congregation was founded in 1885. Members met in a house on St. Croix Avenue in what is now the Canal Park area of Duluth. It incorporated in 1899. The families that formed the congregation were Lithuanian immigrants.
Known for being the oldest Conservative congregation west of Chicago, Adath Jeshurun has been a mainstay of the Twin Cities Jewish community for well over a century. Though rooted in South Minneapolis, the congregation moved to Minnetonka in 1995 to accommodate its growing membership.
Founded by Swedish Americans in St. Peter in 1862, Gustavus Adolphus College attracted a mostly white student body for much of its history. In the 1960s, the college took steps to diversify its campus by recruiting and retaining African American students from the South. This effort made Gustavus unique among Midwestern liberal arts colleges.
Formed in August of 1968, the American Indian Movement Patrol (AIM Patrol) was a citizens’ patrol created in response to police brutality against American Indian people in Minneapolis. Patrollers observed officers’ interactions with American Indians and offered mediators that community members could call on for help. As of 2016, a similar but separate group operates under the same name.
Emile Julien Amblard, known as the "Duke of Clearwater Lake," became one of Coney Island's leading residents. He bought his first piece of land there in 1893. The western edge of the island and a building in Waconia would become his passion for the next twenty-one years.
The city of Chaska is home to a factory that has survived decades of change in the Minnesota sugar industry. Since 1934 it has been part of the American Crystal Sugar Company, one of the leading sugar producers in the United States.
In 1834, the American Fur Company established a commercial fishing operation on Lake Superior to supplement the company's profits. The financial panic of 1837 doomed the operation and the company declared bankruptcy in 1842. Commercial fisherman did not have a significant presence on Lake Superior again until the Duluth fishing boom in the 1870s.
American Indian boarding schools, which operated in Minnesota and across the United States beginning in the late nineteenth century, represent a dark chapter in U.S. history. Also called industrial schools, these institutions prepared boys for manual labor and farming and girls for domestic work. The boarding school, whether on or off a reservation, carried out the government's mission to restructure Indians' minds and personalities by severing children’s physical, cultural, and spiritual connections to their tribes.
Albert Alonzo Ames, called “Doc,” was mayor of Minneapolis four times, between 1876 and 1903.Though he earned notoriety as “the shame of Minneapolis” for his involvement in extortion and fraud during his last term in office, Ames also won praise for his work as a doctor and an advocate for veterans.
In December 1901, botanist Alexander Pierce Anderson created puffed rice while experimenting with starch crystals in his laboratory. Although he did not yet realize the significance of his discovery, Anderson's new breakfast food would make him a nationally known figure and the face of a Quaker Oats advertising campaign for almost a decade.
Eugenie Moore Anderson emerged as a trailblazer for American women in international diplomacy during the post-World War II era. In 1949 she became the first American woman to hold the rank of ambassador.
The Andrews Sisters hold a singular place among the many famous Minnesota-born musical talents who have made it big. Rising to fame in the swing era of the late 1930s, they developed their successful close-harmony formula early on. Patty, the blond mezzo-soprano, sang lead; Maxene, the brunette, sang soprano; and LaVerne, the redhead, sang contralto. The trio recorded more than six hundred songs, sold over ninety million records, earned fifteen gold records, and had a dozen number-one hits. Forty-six of their tunes made it to the Billboard Top Ten chart—more than either Elvis Presley or The Beatles.
Frances Andrews worked as an advocate for social justice, education, and conservation in the early twentieth century. She called for preservation of the forests and lakes that became the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and experimented with land restoration in northwestern Wisconsin. Her legacy includes an endowment that continues to support social and environmental causes in the 2010s.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Germans were the single largest ethnic group in Minnesota. Nativism during this period was a “patriotic” attitude that saw recent immigrants—particularly those of German descent— as potentially traitorous. Many felt that because German Americans shared their heritage with the Kaiser and the German Empire, they would side with the enemy power. That many German Americans advocated neutrality until the U.S. declared war was further proof of disloyalty to nativists.
Nellie Stone Johnson dies in Minneapolis at the age of ninety six. Johnson was an African American civil rights activist and union leader who was influential in Minnesota politics from the 1930s through the twentieth century.
Maud Hart Lovelace is born in Mankato. She is remembered as author of the Betsy-Tacy books, a series of stories for young readers set in early twentieth-century Mankato. In 1979, the Mankato Friends of the Library Association established the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award for children's books.
The University of Minnesota Gophers men's ice hockey team win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national championship tournament. They beat the University of Maine 4-3 in overtime to win their first national title since 1979.
The milling, logging, farming, and railroad industries that made Minneapolis a prosperous town in the late nineteenth century also cost many men their limbs, if not their lives. Minneapolis entrepreneurs, many of them amputees themselves, built on the local need and made the city one of the leading producers of artificial limbs in the United States.
The women's theater movement began in the early 1970s and continued until the mid–1980s. Echoing the second-wave feminism sweeping the country, it fostered the growth of more than 185 theaters, with an emphasis on women's issues. One of these, At the Foot of the Mountain Theater in Minneapolis, made a lasting mark on the Twin Cities.
President Barack Obama starts a three day bus tour with a town-hall meeting in Cannon Falls. After the meeting his motorcade travels down Highway 52 through Zumbro, Rochester, Chatfield, Fountain, Preston, and Harmony on it's way to the Seed Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.