Bender, Charles Albert (1884–1954)

The National Baseball Hall of Fame credits Charles Albert Bender with inventing the slider, a curveball with extra speed. Like his patented pitch, Bender's life course was a circuitous one, beginning on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.

Benson, Elmer (1895–1985)

Elmer Benson was elected in 1936 as Minnesota’s second Farmer-Labor Party governor with over 58 percent of the vote. He was defeated only two years later by an even larger margin. An outspoken champion of Minnesota’s workers and family farmers, Benson lacked the political gifts of his charismatic predecessor, Floyd B. Olson. However, many of his proposals—at first considered radical—became law in the decades that followed.

Bernard, John Toussaint (1893–1983)

Minnesota Congressman John T. Bernard fought throughout his life for working people against strong opposition. His outspoken and uncompromising views led him, on his second day in office, to cast the single “no” vote in Congress against the Spanish arms embargo. Bernard’s vote proved farsighted as the Spanish Civil War became, in many ways, a “dress rehearsal” for World War II.

Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka

Bet Shalom Congregation has offered worship services affiliated with Reform Judaism since 1981. Originally based in St. Louis Park, the congregation moved to Hopkins in 1985 and to Minnetonka in 2003.

Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park

Founded in 1922, Beth El was the last synagogue to be formed on the North Side of Minneapolis. It was the only one to affiliate with Judaism's Conservative movement. In the 1960s, Beth El, like other North Side synagogues (all of them Orthodox), moved to St. Louis Park.

Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights

Beth Jacob Congregation is a Conservative synagogue located in Mendota Heights. It was formed in 1985 when Sons of Jacob, St. Paul's second-oldest synagogue, merged with a group of young worshipers who came together in 1984.

Betty Crocker

For many Americans, the name Betty Crocker evokes an image of domestic perfection. From the often-reissued Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook to the iconic red spoon logo that bears her signature, Betty Crocker is one of the most recognized names in cooking. It comes as a surprise to some that “America’s First Lady of Food” is, in fact, fictional.

Bicycling Craze, 1890s

In the 1890s, after bicycles became more comfortable and affordable, bicycling swept the nation, Minnesota included. Minnesotans who embraced bicycling at this time helped lay the groundwork for a number of lasting changes in American society, from shorter skirts to better roads.

Biederman, Charles Joseph (1906–2004)

Charles Joseph Biederman of Red Wing, an influential and non-conformist American Modernist painter, sculptor and art theorist, made a lasting mark in American and international art circles.

Bishop, Harriet E. (1817–1883)

Harriet Bishop, best known as the founder of St. Paul’s first public and Sunday schools, was also a social reformer, land agent, and writer. In the 1840s, she led a vanguard of white, middle-class, Protestant women who sought to bring “moral order” to the multi-cultural fur-trade society of pre-territorial Minnesota.

Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)

Samuel Bloomer served in Company B of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He was the regiment's color sergeant, and after the war was deeply involved in civic life and the Grand Army of the Republic.

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park, named for a long, high Sioux quartzite cliff, is located in southwestern Minnesota on the Iowa and South Dakota borders. The cliff, one and one-half miles long and up to ninety feet high, appeared to be blue in color to the early Euro-American immigrants who saw it from a distance. A unique herd of bison, the largest North American mammal, makes its home in the park on 533 acres of native tall grass prairie, which escaped plowing due to poor soil quality.

Bonanza Farms, Red River Valley

Bonanza farms—large, commercial farming enterprises that grew thousands of acres of wheat—flourished in northwestern Minnesota and the Dakotas from the 1870s to 1920. Geology, the Homestead Act of 1862, railroads, modern machinery, and revolutionary new flour-milling methods all contributed to the bonanza farm boom.

Bonga, George (c.1802–1874)

Fur trader and translator George Bonga was one of the first African Americans born in what later became Minnesota. His mother was Ojibwe, as were both of his wives. Through these relationships, Bonga was part of the mixed racial and cultural groups that connected trading companies and American Indians. He frequently guided white immigrants and traders through the region. Comfortable in many worlds, Bonga often worked as an advocate for the Ojibwe in their dealings with trading companies and the government.

Bongards' Creameries

Bongards' Creameries began as a small local creamery, helping farmers to process their milk. Since its beginning in 1908, it has grown to include satellite factories in Perham and Humboldt, Tennessee. It has also increased its range of products to include cheese and whey. In the twenty-first century, Bongards' Creameries is among the largest cheese-making plants in the world.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is located in the northern third of Superior National Forest. It is the most heavily used wilderness in the country, with about 250,000 visitors annually.

Boyd, Frank (1881–1962)

Frank Boyd was a celebrated organizer in Minnesota for the country’s most influential African American labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, from 1926 to 1951.

Boynton, Ruth Evelyn (1896 - 1977)

Ruth Boynton was a physician, researcher, and administrator who spent almost her entire career at the University of Minnesota (U of M). She worked in public health and student health services. At that time there were few women in any of these fields. She was Director of the University Student Health Service from 1936 to 1961. It was renamed the Boynton Health Service in her honor in 1975.

Brackett's Battalion

Recruited in the fall of 1861, Brackett's Battalion served longer than any other Minnesota unit during the Civil War. After campaigning in the Western Theater, the Battalion participated in the Northwestern Indian Expeditions of 1864 and 1865.

Bradstreet, John Scott (1845–1914)

John Scott Bradstreet was a key tastemaker in early twentieth century Minnesota. As a designer of objects and interiors, he shaped the aesthetic tastes and parlors of the Twin Cities. Beyond his retail operations, Bradstreet’s work as an organizer and booster of the fine arts in Minneapolis was central to the development of art exhibitions and societies, and eventually led to the founding of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Brin, Fanny Fligelman (1884–1961)

Fanny Fligelman Brin devoted her life to the causes of world peace, democracy, social justice, and Jewish welfare. Her long career as a peace activist included involvement with the National Council of Jewish Women, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, among others.

Brown, Joseph Renshaw (1805–1870)

During his five decades in Minnesota, Joseph R. Brown was a significant figure in territorial and state politics. Although he never held high office, he exercised great influence on how the region developed. His ability to produce legislative results earned him the nickname “Jo the Juggler.”

Bruns and Finkle Grain Elevator, Moorhead

In 1878, Red River Valley businessmen Henry A. Bruns and Henry G. Finkle built the first steam-powered grain elevator in the United States. In its first harvest season, the grain elevator handled almost 250,000 bushels of wheat from more than 5,000 wagons.

Buffington, Leroy Sunderland (1847–1931)

Sometimes known as the "Father of the Skyscraper," Leroy Sunderland Buffington was a prolific architect who had a lasting impact on the built environment of Minneapolis. In the 1880s, Buffington was nationally known. His architectural office employed more than thirty draftsmen, making it the largest in the region.

Bundt Pan

Many Americans can recognize a Bundt pan or have one at home. But few know that this iconic cake pan, created by H. David Dalquist, founder of the Nordic Ware Company, is rooted in Minnesota’s Jewish immigrant history. The design for the ring-shaped mold came from a pan called the Gugelhupf, which was brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants from Europe.

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