The first WeFest takes place in Detroit Lakes, featuring performers Alabama, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others. The biggest country music and camping festival in the nation, it attracts tens of thousands of country music enthusiasts annually.
Famed restaurateur Gim Joe Huie dies in Duluth. Born in Guangdong province, China, in 1892, Huie first came to the city in 1909 and made it his American home while returning to the land of his birth for extended stays until the Communist government established control there in the late 1940s. In 1951 he opened Joe Huie's Cafe, on Lake Avenue in Duluth, which for twenty-two years offered authentic Asian food at reasonable prices in a companionable atmosphere.
Marcelina Anaya Vasquez, founder in 1970 of the Migrant Tutorial program, dies. Working in St. Paul's west side, Vasquez trained bilingual tutors to assist migrant children with their English reading and writing skills. The St. Paul school district had taken over her successful program in 1978.
Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz dies in California. That summer, in St. Paul, his childhood home, 101 individually decorated, five-foot-tall statues of Snoopy are displayed in a celebration of Schulz's life. Later in the year, two auctions of Snoopy statues (including some from the celebration and some made specially for auction) are held with the announcement that the money raised will be used as memorial funds to create a bronze sculpture of Schulz characters for downtown St. Paul, as well as to benefit the College of Visual Arts in St.
Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance. Authored by Thomas Jefferson, it set up the rules of government for the Northwest Territory of the United States, which included present-day Minnesota east of the Mississippi River. Slavery was outlawed, the land was to be surveyed into townships, and each township was to set aside land for a school. In addition, the ordinance stated that "the utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians, their land and property."
Ozawindib (Yellow Head), an Ojibwe guide, shows Henry Rowe Schoolcraft that Lake Itasca is indeed the source of the Mississippi River. Schoolcraft would name the lake from the Latin words Veritas Caput (True Head), using the last syllable of veritas and the first of caput . The Ojibwe name for the lake is Omushkos , meaning "Elk Lake."
Charles M. Loring is born in Portland, Maine. As Minneapolis park commissioner from 1883 to 1890, he would be a principal player in the development of the city's system of parks, public grounds, and children's playgrounds. He would be the driving force behind creation of Victory Memorial Drive; Loring Community School is named for him. Central Park would be renamed Loring Park, also in his honor.
Captain Frederick Marryat, author of numerous sea tales, most memorably "Mr. Midshipman Easy," visits Fort Snelling while on a trip to investigate American democracy. The next year he publishes Diary in America, which contains several chapters on his Minnesota experiences.
The army officially occupies Fort Gaines, later renamed Fort Ripley. The post had been built to monitor the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk), recently transferred from Iowa, and to maintain peace between Ojibwe and Dakota bands.
The Third Minnesota Regiment suffers one of the great embarrassments of the Civil War when it surrenders to a smaller Confederate force led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, who convinced the Minnesotans that his force was much larger than theirs. The men would be paroled and eventually return to action, fighting well under new officers.
The steamer Sea Wing , carrying a large party and towing a barge, capsizes in a sudden storm on Lake Pepin. Twenty-five individuals manage to clamber back on the boat, but, a few hours later, the boat turns turtle again, throwing the survivors back in the water. By the time the boat and the barge are driven ashore, ninety-eight individuals had drowned. Surprisingly, no one on the barge was hurt.
Floyd B. Olson is born in Minneapolis. He would be the first Farmer-Labor governor, serving from 1931 until his death on August 22, 1936. He is remembered for implementing New Deal policies and for his skilled negotiating during the 1933 Hormel strike in Austin and the 1934 teamsters' strike in Minneapolis.