An act of Congress places Fort Ripley Military Reservation in the public domain, making the land available for settlement. The fort, located on the Mississippi River below the mouth of the Crow Wing River, had been established in 1849 and was abandoned by the army in 1878.
The first state capitol building burns. Three hundred people escape safely, but the building, including the law library, is a total loss. Luckily, most of the Minnesota Historical Society's artifacts are rescued from the basement. A second capitol is built on the same site, a square block bounded by Wabasha, Cedar, Exchange, and Tenth Streets, but is later replaced by the present capitol.
St. Paul's first Winter Carnival opens, hosting competitions in curling, skating, and ice polo and boasting the first ice palace in the United States. Built in Central Park, the palace is 140 feet long, 120 feet wide, and 100 feet high. The Winter Carnival suggests that those Minnesotans who do not enjoy complaining about their winter may actually enjoy the season.
The Northwestern Publishing Company is incorporated in St. Paul as a general job order printing office, with the subsidiary enterprise of publishing the Western Appeal (which would became The Appeal in 1889), a weekly African American newspaper that had first appeared in 1885. Editor John Quincy Adams later calls it "A National Afro-American Newspaper" and intends it to be a bold and active paper printing articles that an oppressed people want to read.
Workers nail the final spike in the 818 miles of track stretching from Pacific Junction, Montana, to Everett, Washington, completing the Great Northern Railroad and connecting St. Paul to the Pacific Ocean.
A forest fire kills 413 people and burns 160,000 acres of timberland around Hinckley. Railroad engineer James Root saves more than 100 people by loading them onto train cars and driving through the blaze. The devastation of this fire convinces many of the importance of forest conservation.
Three-quarters of Red Lake Indian Reservation land--the region north and east of Thirteen Towns (Badger, Brandsvold, Chester, Columbia, Eden, Fosston, Hill River, King, Knute, Lessor, Queen, Rosebud, and Sletten) in Polk County--is opened to white settlement.
The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions , authored by Thorstein Veblen, is published. A graduate of Carleton College, Veblen earns recognition as a dynamic economist and social theorist, and his book remains influential today.
At the urging of Dr. Richard O. Beard, the Board of Regents for the University of Minnesota authorizes a nursing curriculum, the first college-associated school of nursing in the country. The school opens March 1, 1909, with Bertha Erdmann as director.
A nationwide walkout by railroad shop craft and other employees includes 8,000 workers in the Twin Cities. The strike ends in defeat for the workers, with scab labor permanently replacing many of them, but the new Farmer-Labor Party's assistance during the strike encourages the workers' support of the party in later elections, making the Farmer-Labor Party, rather than the Democratic Party, the principal opposition party in Minnesota for many years.
Harper and Brothers publishes the first English edition of Ole E. Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth , a novel of Norwegian settlement on the Great Plains. Rolvaag, a professor at St. Olaf College, wrote the original text in Norwegian.
The first celebration of Kolacky Day in Montgomery occurs. A kolacky is a Czechoslovakian pastry filled with fruit. At first the festival was only a day long, but in 1975 the celebration was scheduled for late July and extended into Kolacky Days, complete with music, dancing, art displays, and a parade.
Prompted by Governor Floyd B. Olson, the legislature passes an emergency law stopping farm foreclosure sales. The Great Depression and the dust bowl had hurt farmers throughout the nation, and they had responded to foreclosures by organizing the Farmers' Holiday, which attempted to stop the sale of farm products until prices rose. Willmar's John Bosch, who revered the nonviolent ideas of Mohandas Gandhi, led the state's Farmers' Holiday Movement.
Wendell R. Anderson is born in St. Paul. A member of the silver medal-winning 1956 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team, a lawyer, and a former legislator (in both House and Senate), he would serve as governor from 1971 to 1976. After helping to establish a firmer control on state finances through the "Minnesota Miracle" fiscal reforms of 1971, Anderson would end his career as an elected official by appointing himself to fill Walter F. Mondale's U.S. Senate seat following Mondale's election as vice president of the United States in November 1976.
Against a background of war in Europe and bitter pro- and anti-union activity in the Twin Cities, eighteen members of the Socialist Workers Party are found guilty in Minneapolis on a count of conspiring to undermine the loyalty of U.S. military forces and of publishing material advocating the overthrow of the government. Vincent R. Dunne, a leader in Teamsters Local 544, and the other defendants are, however, found not guilty on a count of seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government by force. Five more defendants, also party members, are acquitted on both counts.