The steamboat Anson Northup begins working on the Red River. In an effort to cash in on the lucrative Red River valley trade and to improve connections with Fort Garry (now Winnipeg), St. Paul businessmen offered a $2,000 prize to the first boat to deliver a cargo to Fort Garry. Mr. Anson Northup traveled with his Mississippi steamer North Star up the Crow Wing River as far as possible. Then he dissembled the 90-by-24-foot boat and began the overland trip with sixty-four horses and a crew of sixty men.
Black residents of Minnesota hold a grand convention in St. Paul's Ingersoll Hall "to celebrate the Emancipation of 4,000,000 slaves, and to express...gratitude for the bestowal of the elective franchise to the colored people of this State."
On an unusually balmy day, the steamer Aunt Betsy carries a load of passengers from St. Paul to Fort Snelling. Crowds line the Jackson Street landing, the bluffs, and the Wabasha Street Bridge to watch, and the passengers carry palm-leaf fans to stave off the heat.
An act of Congress places Fort Ripley Military Reservation in the public domain, making the land available for settlement. The fort, located on the Mississippi River below the mouth of the Crow Wing River, had been established in 1849 and was abandoned by the army in 1878.
The first state capitol building burns. Three hundred people escape safely, but the building, including the law library, is a total loss. Luckily, most of the Minnesota Historical Society's artifacts are rescued from the basement. A second capitol is built on the same site, a square block bounded by Wabasha, Cedar, Exchange, and Tenth Streets, but is later replaced by the present capitol.
St. Paul's first Winter Carnival opens, hosting competitions in curling, skating, and ice polo and boasting the first ice palace in the United States. Built in Central Park, the palace is 140 feet long, 120 feet wide, and 100 feet high. The Winter Carnival suggests that those Minnesotans who do not enjoy complaining about their winter may actually enjoy the season.
The Northwestern Publishing Company is incorporated in St. Paul as a general job order printing office, with the subsidiary enterprise of publishing the Western Appeal (which would became The Appeal in 1889), a weekly African American newspaper that had first appeared in 1885. Editor John Quincy Adams later calls it "A National Afro-American Newspaper" and intends it to be a bold and active paper printing articles that an oppressed people want to read.
Workers nail the final spike in the 818 miles of track stretching from Pacific Junction, Montana, to Everett, Washington, completing the Great Northern Railroad and connecting St. Paul to the Pacific Ocean.
A forest fire kills 413 people and burns 160,000 acres of timberland around Hinckley. Railroad engineer James Root saves more than 100 people by loading them onto train cars and driving through the blaze. The devastation of this fire convinces many of the importance of forest conservation.
Three-quarters of Red Lake Indian Reservation land--the region north and east of Thirteen Towns (Badger, Brandsvold, Chester, Columbia, Eden, Fosston, Hill River, King, Knute, Lessor, Queen, Rosebud, and Sletten) in Polk County--is opened to white settlement.
The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions , authored by Thorstein Veblen, is published. A graduate of Carleton College, Veblen earns recognition as a dynamic economist and social theorist, and his book remains influential today.
At the urging of Dr. Richard O. Beard, the Board of Regents for the University of Minnesota authorizes a nursing curriculum, the first college-associated school of nursing in the country. The school opens March 1, 1909, with Bertha Erdmann as director.
A nationwide walkout by railroad shop craft and other employees includes 8,000 workers in the Twin Cities. The strike ends in defeat for the workers, with scab labor permanently replacing many of them, but the new Farmer-Labor Party's assistance during the strike encourages the workers' support of the party in later elections, making the Farmer-Labor Party, rather than the Democratic Party, the principal opposition party in Minnesota for many years.
Harper and Brothers publishes the first English edition of Ole E. Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth , a novel of Norwegian settlement on the Great Plains. Rolvaag, a professor at St. Olaf College, wrote the original text in Norwegian.
The first celebration of Kolacky Day in Montgomery occurs. A kolacky is a Czechoslovakian pastry filled with fruit. At first the festival was only a day long, but in 1975 the celebration was scheduled for late July and extended into Kolacky Days, complete with music, dancing, art displays, and a parade.
Prompted by Governor Floyd B. Olson, the legislature passes an emergency law stopping farm foreclosure sales. The Great Depression and the dust bowl had hurt farmers throughout the nation, and they had responded to foreclosures by organizing the Farmers' Holiday, which attempted to stop the sale of farm products until prices rose. Willmar's John Bosch, who revered the nonviolent ideas of Mohandas Gandhi, led the state's Farmers' Holiday Movement.