This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1933

Wendell R. Anderson is born in St. Paul. A member of the silver medal-winning 1956 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team, a lawyer, and a former legislator (in both House and Senate), he would serve as governor from 1971 to 1976. After helping to establish a firmer control on state finances through the "Minnesota Miracle" fiscal reforms of 1971, Anderson would end his career as an elected official by appointing himself to fill Walter F. Mondale's U.S. Senate seat following Mondale's election as vice president of the United States in November 1976.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1941

Workers begin dismantling the Duluth and Northeastern Railroad, the last logging line to operate in Minnesota.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1941

Against a background of war in Europe and bitter pro- and anti-union activity in the Twin Cities, eighteen members of the Socialist Workers Party are found guilty in Minneapolis on a count of conspiring to undermine the loyalty of U.S. military forces and of publishing material advocating the overthrow of the government. Vincent R. Dunne, a leader in Teamsters Local 544, and the other defendants are, however, found not guilty on a count of seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government by force. Five more defendants, also party members, are acquitted on both counts.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1946

Author Tim O'Brien is born in Austin. His novel of the Vietnam War, Going After Cacciato, would win the National Book Award in 1979.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1969

The Coast Guard closes Split Rock Lighthouse after fifty-nine years of service. It becomes a state park the following year.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1974

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota opens. The facility treats injured birds of prey and helps to rehabilitate them for release into the wild.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1976

The first issue of the Circle newsletter is published by the Minneapolis American Indian Center. Containing stories about the lives and values of American Indians in the metro area, the newsletter would become a newspaper in March 1980 with a grant from the Dayton Hudson Foundation.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1976

St. Paul's Frank Boyd Park is dedicated to a "fighter for his class, his race, and his union." Born in Kansas, Boyd moved to Minnesota in 1904 and joined the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union in 1925, rising to secretary-treasurer in the organization. Active in DFL politics, he was one of the first two African Americans to cast votes in the Electoral College, in 1944. He died on May 2, 1962.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1979

Adventurer Gerry Spiess departs from Chesapeake Bay in his ten-foot sailboat Yankee Girl , built in his White Bear Lake garage in 1977. After a solo voyage across the Atlantic, Spiess arrives in Falmouth, England, on July 24, 1979.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1989

Duluth holds its first Bayfront Blues Festival. Originally a small, one-day regional event, it has grown into one of the major blues festivals in the country, attracting fans from all over the world, hosting over 200 blues performers of national and regional acclaim, and growing in attendance from about 1,000 the first year to nearly 60,000 over a three-day period in 1998.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1992

The MinnesotaCare health program, benefiting uninsured low-income Minnesota residents, goes into effect. MinnesotaCare is financed by state tax dollars, provider taxes, and premiums paid by enrollees. According to the Institute for Southern Studies' "Gold and Green 2000" report, Minnesota boasts the lowest number of people without health insurance in the country.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 1, 1994

"Runaway Train" by the Minneapolis group Soul Asylum wins a Grammy for best rock song.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1763

In the treaty ending the French and Indian War, France transfers to Britain the territory that would become Minnesota.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1804

The Upper Louisiana Territory, including present-day Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, is formally transferred from France to the United States in a ceremony in St. Louis.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1806

Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike, exploring the Upper Mississippi territory included in the recent Louisiana Purchase, arrives at the North West Company post on Leech Lake. Incensed that the British Union Jack still flies there, he orders it shot down and replaced with the Stars and Stripes. Pike was something of an ingrate, however, as he enjoyed the hospitality of the post both before and after the incident. British fur posts remain in the region until the end of the War of 1812.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1820

Colonel Josiah Snelling lays the cornerstone of Fort St. Anthony, which would later bear his name. Snelling had chosen to build a stone fort rather than the typical wooden structure, in part because there was not enough wood available in the immediate area and in part because the fort was to sit on a limestone bluff. His choice would prove troublesome: while many of his soldiers were familiar with carpentry, few had any experience with stonemasonry.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1823

The Virginia is the first steamboat to reach Fort St. Anthony (later Snelling), having made the 729-mile-trip from St. Louis in twenty days. Among the Virginia 's passengers is Italian adventurer Giacomo C. Beltrami.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1823

Major Joseph Delafield and his party arrive at Grand Portage to run the first survey of the international boundary in the region.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1827

William Windom is born in Belmont City, Ohio. Settling in Winona in 1855, Windom would represent Minnesota in the U.S. Congress as both a congressman and a senator, and he would be secretary of the treasury under Presidents James A. Garfield and Benjamin Harrison. His likeness appears on the 1891 two-dollar bill, and Windom in Cottonwood County is named for him. He died in 1891.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1851

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet open a girls school in St. Paul, enrolling fourteen pupils and holding classes in the former Chapel of St. Paul. Originally named St. Mary's, their school would eventually be known as St. Joseph's Academy.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1853

The Chicago Landverein, or land society, which eventually established the town of New Ulm, is formed by a group of German immigrants. At first, lawyers and preachers are banned from membership.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1855

Jacob Fjelde is born in Norway. He would sculpt the work Hiawatha and Minnehaha, displayed in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, and the statue of Ole Bull located in Loring Park, Minneapolis.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1855

Henry W. Longfellow publishes The Song of Hiawatha . Although the poet never visited Minnesota, his poem depicts locations such as Minnehaha Falls and inspired some of the state's place names, including Bena, Nushka, Osseo, Ponemah, and Wabasso.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1858

Inventor and businessman Marshall B. Lloyd is born in St. Paul. He would be involved in many ventures in Canada and the Dakotas before moving to Minneapolis in 1900. Once there, he would invent machines to weave wire into doormats and, later, the woven-wire bedspring mattress. Head of the Lloyd Manufacturing Company, he would then move to Menominee, Michigan, and invent a wicker-weaving machine that was thirty times faster than hand-weaving.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 10, 1862

The Augustana Synod of the Lutheran Church gives Eric Norelius permission to open an academy. First established in Red Wing, then moved to East Union, the college that would become Gustavus Adolphus permanently located in St. Peter in 1876.

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