This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1888

The Town and Country Club is founded in St. Paul. First located on the shores of Lake Como, in 1891 the club would move to its present location near the Marshall Avenue Bridge. A golf course, originally tomato cans sunk in a pasture, is set up in 1893, and it is now the second oldest course in the country.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1891

The Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railroad is established by the Merritt brothers to carry iron ore from the Mesabi Range to Lake Superior ports. Leonidas Merritt had discovered iron near Mountain Iron the previous November.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1893

Wanda Gag is born in New Ulm. An author and artist, she would write and illustrate the children's classic Millions of Cats .

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1895

After a sensational trial, Harry T. Hayward is hanged in the Minneapolis jail for the murder of Katherine Ging, owner of a fashionable dressmaking establishment. He had arranged for her to be killed so that he could collect her life insurance money.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1896

A special train brings ten carloads of Minnesota Ojibwe to see the Buffalo Bill Wild West show in Ashland, Wisconsin, which in turn causes many whites to come see the Indians.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1899

In an effort to control speeding bicyclists, the St. Paul police department establishes a squad of twelve bicycle officers to patrol the roads and sidewalks, keeping the public safe from "scorchers." The speed limits are set at six miles per hour on sidewalks and eight on streets.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1900

All thirteen of the cars in Minneapolis race from the Hennepin County courthouse to Wayzata to demonstrate to the county commissioners the need for better roads. Harry Wilcox arrives in Wayzata first, making the twelve-mile run in forty-two minutes.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1900

How strong was the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900? The remnants of the storm drop 6.65 inches of rain on Minnesota from September 9 to 11.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1906

The statue Mississippi, Father of Waters is unveiled in Minneapolis City Hall. An allegorical representation of the Mississippi River, the statue was carved from a single block of marble by Larkin Goldsmith Mead and weighs almost 14,000 pounds.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1907

The St. Paul Institute of Science and Letters is incorporated, with Charles W. Ames as its first president. The institute's museum is first located in the Auditorium, then moved to the Merriam mansion on University Avenue, and now dwells in downtown St. Paul, known as the Science Museum of Minnesota.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1909

Canada and the United States sign a treaty forming the International Joint Commission, a legislative body charged with preventing and settling disputes in the boundary waters region.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1919

The American Legion, a veterans organization, holds its first convention, in Minneapolis. The convention begins on November 10 and ends on November 12.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1940

The Armistice Day Blizzard strikes, trapping hunters at lakes and drivers on roads. Forty-nine people die when temperatures suddenly drop from the sixties to below zero. Pilot Max Conrad of Winona earns hero honors for taking his Piper Cub up into fifty-mile-per-hour winds to drop supplies and lead rescuers to trapped hunters.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1945

Nellie Stone Johnson, union organizer and activist, is elected to the Minneapolis library board, the first African American ever elected to a citywide post in Minneapolis.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1954

The state historical society recognizes ethnographer Frances Densmore for "distinguished service in the field of Minnesota History." Densmore, a Red Wing native, was one of the first ethnologists to specialize in the study of American Indian music and culture and is perhaps best known for her field recordings of Ojibwe songs.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1956

The dwellings in Swede Hollow, a St. Paul immigrant neighborhood, are burned after the city health department declares them contaminated.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1970

Norman E. Borlaug, University of Minnesota alumnus and crop researcher, receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his research in hybridizing wheat to increase crop yields. Borlaug is known as the father of the green revolution.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1971

The first Minnesota Renaissance Festival opens at Lake Grace in Jonathan. One of the largest of its kind, the festival now operates from a permanent encampment near Shakopee.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1992

The Mall of America opens to a gala ceremony, an unexpected parking crunch, and an estimated 150,000 shoppers, who, as the Star Tribune would comment, "took a vacation from recession and bought." Standing on what was the site of Metropolitan Stadium, the "megamall" is the largest in the United States.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1999

Duluth's state representative Willard Munger dies. He had served over forty years in the Minnesota House and was known as an advocate for environmental protection.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1999

St. Paul native Paul Molitor announces his retirement from baseball, having spent his final three seasons with the Minnesota Twins. His career hits numbered over 3,000, most of them from his years with the Milwaukee Brewers.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 11, 1999

After sixteen month of often bitter protest, four oak trees sacred to the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community are cut down to make way for the rerouting of Highway 55 in Minneapolis.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 12, 1806

James Shields is born in Ireland. He would be a U.S. senator for three different states: Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri. After moving to Faribault in 1855, he would be one of the first two senators selected by the state's legislature, and while in office he would encourage Irish immigration to Minnesota. Shieldsville in Rice County is named for him. He died in 1879.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 12, 1816

Willis A. Gorman is born in Flemingsburg, Kentucky. He would be appointed second territorial governor of Minnesota in 1853 and would later serve in the legislature, command the First Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War, and be St. Paul's city attorney from 1869 until his death on May 20, 1876.

This Day in Minnesota History

January 12, 1829

Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor ends his command at Fort Snelling, which had begun May 24, 1828. He would later lead the U.S. Army in the war against Mexico, and "Old Rough and Ready" would take that fame to the White House. Taylor is the only U.S. president to have spent a significant amount of time in Minnesota.

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