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.
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.
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.
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.
Iowa Territory is formed, including in its claim present-day Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, which was called Clayton County. Henry H. Sibley serves as justice of the peace for the county, but this part of Minnesota would be left without a government when Iowa became a state in 1846.
Governor James D. Doty of Wisconsin Territory (which includes part of the future Minnesota) writes to the U.S. secretary of war protesting an extension of the Fort Snelling military reservation and asking how the federal government can take land "by the simple declaration that it is necessary for military purposes" and without consent of the territorial legislature. The protest is in vain, and military authorities eventually expel "squatters" living in the fort area, causing many of them to move to the site that will become St. Paul.
Norwegian newspaperman Paul Hjelm-Hansen leaves Alexandria to travel to the Red River by oxcart. Hjelm-Hansen had been hired by the State Board of Immigration to publicize the advantages of moving to western Minnesota. His letters, published in a number of Norwegian newspapers, encourage many emigrants to move here. In 1924 the Norwegian-Danish Press Association of America presented the Minnesota Historical Society with a plaque in his memory.
Rutherford B. Hayes, between terms as governor of Ohio, spends the morning in St. Paul visiting the state capitol and "other places of note in the city." He would serve as U.S. president from 1877 to 1881.
Rocky Mountain locusts cross into Minnesota and begin destroying crops in the southwestern part of the state. Relief efforts are organized to keep the settlers from starving. The locusts return for the next four years, finally leaving in August 1877.
The Minnesota Forestry Association is formed to work for the passage of conservation laws to protect the state's forests. At one time boasting 10,000 members, the association would prove so successful that state agencies and civic groups would take on its activities, and in 1948 the group would vote itself out of existence.
The balloon Great Northwest , piloted by Samuel A. King and carrying eight passengers, ascends from Minneapolis. Their plan to travel to the Atlantic Coast garners national attention, but the flight is a failure, with a forced landing before the balloon reaches St. Paul.
The Little Sisters of the Poor establish their convent in St. Paul. The Sisters began as a Hospitallers Order in Saint Servan, Brittany, France, dedicated to serving the elderly poor and infirm, and they maintain convents and hospitality houses all over the world.
Theodore Christianson is born in Lac qui Parle Township. From 1925 to 1931 he would serve as the twenty-first governor, but he was only the second one to be born in the state. He would also write a five-volume history of Minnesota. He died on December 10, 1948.
The first car of iron ore travels from Mountain Iron to Duluth and assays at 65 percent iron. Minnesota would lead the country in iron ore production for many years, and iron, in the form of taconite, is still a major export.
Walter "Pudge" Heffelfinger becomes the first professional football player in history. The Minneapolis native signs to play with the Allegheny Athletic Association and is paid $500 for his role in the 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.
Visiting the Twin Cities for the dedication of the new capitol, William Colvill dies in his sleep at the Old Soldier's Home in Minneapolis the night before the ceremony, at which he was to carry the battle flag of his regiment. Born in New York in 1830, Colonel Colvill had led the First Minnesota's famous charge at Gettysburg (see July 2). After the war, the Red Wing resident served as state attorney general.
Harry A. Blackmun is born in Nashville, Illinois. He would spend his early years in St. Paul and return to the area after earning a degree from Harvard Law School. President Richard Nixon would appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court on April 14, 1970. Blackmun will be remembered for authoring the controversial 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade , which made abortion legal in the United States, and for retracting his support for the death penalty in 1994 by writing "I shall no longer tinker with the machinery of death." He died March 4, 1999.
The last commercially cut logs pass through Stillwater's boom on the St. Croix, marking the end of large-scale logging in the St. Croix valley. The boom was a chain of logs stretching across the river. Logs floated from upstream, each carrying their owner's brand, were sorted and measured so that each logging company got credit for what they had cut.