A fierce, three-day blizzard strikes, bringing one to two feet of snow (with some drifts reaching twenty feet) and winds up to eighty miles per hour, closing most Minnesota roads, stranding a train at Willmar, and killing thirty-five people and 15,000 head of livestock. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that an offshoot of an Arctic storm has blasted into the Midwest, commenting that the "Wind ain't whistlin' Dixie."
Governor Wendell R. Anderson announces that he will fill newly elected Vice President Walter F. Mondale's U.S. Senate seat. He resigns as governor and is replaced by Lieutenant Governor Rudy Perpich, who then appoints Anderson to complete Mondale's term. The move ends Anderson's political career and makes Perpich's: Anderson would not earn reelection to the Senate in 1978, but Perpich would serve out Anderson's term and be elected governor in 1982.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opens. Designed by modernist architect Edward Larrabee Barnes in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Rothschild, it is the home of the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry by Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg.
Ralph Ware, Jr., who played an instrumental role in creating the Heart of the Earth School, dies in Oklahoma. Founded in 1972, the Heart of the Earth School at the Center for American Indian Education in Minneapolis was the nation's first alternative school for Native Americans. It still emphasizes individual learning styles and parent and community involvement in education. Ware, a Kiowa, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma.
St. Augusta Township in rural Stearns County becomes the city of Ventura as five new city officials take the oath of office to serve this community, which was named for Governor Jesse Ventura as part of a political strategy to prevent annexation attempts by St. Cloud, the county seat. The former township clerk comments, "We are about to form the newest city in the state of Minnesota." In November voters would overwhelmingly choose to change the city's name from Ventura to St. Augusta.
Father Louis Hennepin, exploring the Mississippi River north from Illinois by canoe, is captured by a group of Dakota. During his captivity he is the first white man to see the Falls of St. Anthony, which he names for his patron saint. On July 25, explorer Daniel Greysolon, the Sieur Du Luth, would arrange for Hennepin's release.
Henry Jackson is born in the state of Virginia. He would move to St. Paul in 1842 and rent a place from Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant. A trader and merchant, he would serve as the city's first postmaster and its first justice of the peace.
Thomas Williamson and Alexander Huggins organize a church at Fort Snelling, probably the first Protestant church in Minnesota. Although Gideon H. and Samuel W. Pond had started their Dakota mission the year before, they had not yet organized a church. The French had a Catholic mission on Lake Pepin in the 1700s, and Father Lucien Galtier would establish a Catholic church in Mendota in 1840. The First Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis descends from the fort's church.
English traveler George Featherstonhaugh reaches Fort Snelling. He had been hired by the U.S. War Department to explore the geology of the Upper Midwest. He continues up the Minnesota River to Lake Traverse, and in 1847 he would publish the book A Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor .
Samuel R. Van Sant is born in Rock Island, Illinois. The state's fifteenth governor, serving from 1901 to 1905, he would establish the State Board of Control to handle issues affecting criminals and the mentally disabled. He died on October 3, 1936, in Attica, Indiana.
Minnesota Territory is divided into three judicial districts. The first district, the region between the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, holds court in Stillwater and is presided over by Aaron Goodrich. The second, the lands north of the Minnesota River and west of the Mississippi River, holds court in St. Anthony, with Bradley B. Meeker as judge. South of the Minnesota River is the territory of Judge David Cooper, whose court is in Mendota.
Minnesota becomes the thirty-second state. The enabling act for statehood had been passed on February 26, 1857, and the state's constitution was written that summer and ratified in October. Full statehood had been held up by southern senators who wanted Kansas to enter the Union as a slave state. Finally approved by Congress, the bill is signed by President James Buchanan. Word of statehood would not reach St. Paul until May 13.
The troops of the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment occupy the town of Berryville, Virginia, where they find the print run of the local paper half completed. Members of the company print their own four-page edition, which contains humorous news about the army and the war. Copies of this paper are rare and valued Civil War memorabilia.
The Mississippi, Pillager, and Lake Winnibigoshish bands of Ojibwe sign a treaty with the U.S. government that consolidates and expands the Cass Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, and Leech Lake Reservations into the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in north-central Minnesota. The treaty, which would be renegotiated in 1864, requires numerous Ojibwe living elsewhere in the state to move to Leech Lake.
Little Six and Medicine Bottle, leaders in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, are executed at Fort Snelling. In December of 1863 they had been captured in Canada by Major Edwin A. C. Hatch, who had no authority to retain them, and returned to the United States for trial.
Ada Louise Comstock is born in Moorhead. She would become the first dean of women at the University of Minnesota and then, beginning in 1912, serve as dean of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Although she in effect ran the school from 1917 to 1918, she would not be given the title of "acting president" because of her gender. She would become the first president of the American Association of University Women in 1921 and serve as president of Radcliffe College from 1923 to 1943.
Henry Wilson, a "professional burglar," and his pal Frank Wilmar, a horse thief, are caught by an alert janitor and the sheriff as they attempt to escape from the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul. They had stolen a sledgehammer from workmen and nearly managed to pound a hole through the stone floor of a cell into the basement.
President Grover Cleveland is in St. Paul for the second day of a three-day visit to the state. Former governors Henry H. Sibley, Alexander Ramsey, and William R. Marshall accompany him in his travels around the area.