How Jews Have Shaped the State

From Exclusion to Integration: The Story of Jews in Minnesota

Expert Essay: Writer and historian Laura Weber explores more than 150 years of Jewish history to reveal stories shaped by immigration, resistance to anti-Semitism, and eventual integration.

How Environment Has Shaped the State

From Sustenance to Leisure on Minnesota Land

Expert Essay: Associate professor of history Michael J. Lansing, published in Environmental History as well as Ethics, Place, and Environment, highlights the many ways people have made use of Minnesota's flora and fauna over time and reviews the state's more recent efforts at conservation.

Gág, Wanda (1893–1946)

Wanda Gág (rhymes with "cog") was determined to be an artist from an early age, and ultimately she succeeded. Her talent steered her through family hardship and hesitant early artistic efforts until she created Millions of Cats, her 1928 children's book. It has never been out of print.

Gangster Era in St. Paul, 1900–1936

St. Paul in the late 1920s and early 1930s was known as a “‘crooks’ haven”—a place for gangsters, bank robbers, and bootleggers from all over the Midwest to run their operations or to hide from the FBI. The concentration of local organized crime activity prompted reformers and crime reporters to call for a “cleanup” of the city in the mid-1930s.

Gedney Foods Company

The official source of "the Minnesota Pickle" and creators of the State Fair pickle line, Gedney Foods is an iconic Minnesota company, with products distributed throughout the Midwest. Founded in 1880, Gedney continues to grow one of the more successful pickle brands in the United States.

Gehl-Mittelsted Farm

The Gehl-Mittelsted Farmstead is located in the far southern part of Carver County, in San Francisco Township. One of Carver County's many historic properties, the farmstead was placed on Minnesota's Ten Most Endangered Historic Sites list in 2006.

Ghost Towns of Carver County

Ghost towns convey a certain image, thanks to popular culture. Despite this portrayal, ghost towns are simply former towns, places settled and then abandoned for a variety of reasons. Every state in the United States has them and they are part of the history of a region, including Carver County.

Gilbert, Cass (1859–1934)

One of America's first celebrity architects, Cass Gilbert is best known as the architect of the Woolworth Building in New York City, but he also designed the current Minnesota State Capitol building.

Glensheen Historic Estate

Glensheen, a mansion and grounds completed in 1908 on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, was built by Chester and Clara Congdon. It is famous for its beauty inside and out, and as the site of one of Minnesota’s most notorious murders.

Godfrey, Joseph (c.1830–1909)

The U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 was a turning point in Minnesota history. Joseph Godfrey, an enslaved man , joined the Dakota in their fight against white settlers that summer and fall. He was one of only two African Americans to do so.

Gold Star Mothers in Minnesota

During World War I, families began to hang flags in their windows that displayed a gold star for each relative killed in military service. The title “gold star mother” was used unofficially to describe a woman who had lost a child in service until the national organization American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., was established in 1929. Many Minnesota mothers claimed membership, and local Minnesota chapters followed.

Goodhue County Loyalty Trials, 1918

Speaking out against U.S. involvement in World War I had its hazards for Minnesota citizens. In Goodhue County such talk resulted in imprisonment.

Goodhue County's Clay Industries

Clay provided the basis for thousands of jobs in Goodhue County during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Stoneware, roof tiles, and clay pipes were all produced by area firms and widely sold.

Goodsell Observatory, Northfield

The Goodsell Observatory and its predecessor, a smaller observatory that opened in 1878, helped keep trains running on time and brought national prominence to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

Graham Hall

From 1900–1915, the girls’ preparatory school Graham Hall catered to well-to-do Minneapolis families with an elite pre-college curriculum. The school also offered a general course of study and elementary education. Graham Hall was eventually reincorporated under a board of trustees as the Northrop Collegiate School for Girls, which, in turn, became a part of the Blake School.

Grand Army of the Republic in Minnesota

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization which existed from 1866 to 1956. It was composed of veterans of the Union Army, United States Navy, Marines, and Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. The organization allowed veterans to communicate with one another and plan reunions. At its peak in 1890 it was a powerful organization, supporting the rights of veterans and primarily Republican politicians.

Grand Marais Art Colony

Opened in 1947, the Grand Marais Art Colony is the longest lived art colony in Minnesota. It began as an eight-week summer course but became a year-round art colony that unites the natural beauty of the North Shore with Minnesota's vibrant artistic community.

Grasshopper Plagues, 1873–1877

On June 12, 1873, farmers in southwestern Minnesota saw what looked like a snowstorm coming towards their fields from the west. What seemed to be snowflakes were in fact grasshoppers. In a matter of hours, knee-high fields of grass and wheat were eaten to the ground by hungry hoppers.

Great Northern Railway

The Great Northern Railway was a transcontinental railroad system that extended from St. Paul to Seattle. Among the transcontinental railroads, it was the only one that used no public funding and only a few land grants. As the northernmost of these lines, the railroad spurred immigration and the development of lands along the route, especially in Minnesota.

Green Giant Company

First founded in 1903 as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company (MVCC), the Green Giant Company, as it later became known, became one of the largest producers of canned corn and peas in the United States. From its base in Le Sueur, the company developed new ways of growing, manufacturing, and marketing canned vegetables. Its mascot, the Jolly Green Giant, can be found in grocery stores around the United States.

Gregg, Oren Cornelius (1845–1926)

In the 1880s, agricultural education in Minnesota was in trouble: farmers would not travel to the Twin Cities for classes, and university students did not want to study farming. Oren C. Gregg, a successful dairy farmer from Lyon County, Minnesota, saved the day by bringing lectures directly to Minnesota farmers.

Greysolon, Daniel, Sieur du Lhut (c.1639–1710)

Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, was born in Lyons, France around 1639. Greysolon was a nobleman, and quickly rose to prominence in the French royal court. He traveled to New France (Quebec, Canada) in 1674 at the age of thirty-eight to command the French marines in Montreal.

Grimm, Wendelin (1818–1890) and "Grimm Alfalfa"

Wendelin Grimm was born October 18, 1818 in Kulsheim, Baden, Germany, to Valentine and Marie (Adelmann) Grimm. He grew up in a farm rich area of southern Germany, learning important crops and farming practices. In 1845, Grimm married Julianna Segner (born June 15, 1821) of Steinback, Baden, Germany. The Grimms chances to own a farm were limited by the land inheritance practices of the time. Farming and crop prices were under pressure, and their future in Germany looked grim. With a growing family to support, sons Frank and Joseph and daughter Ottilia, Wendelin and Julianna looked to America for their family's future.

Gubernatorial Election Recount, 1962

An unusually close election in 1962 led to a recount in the race between Minnesota Governor Elmer L. Andersen and his challenger, Lieutenant Governor Karl F. Rolvaag. The outcome remained in doubt for more than four months as thousands of ballots were recounted all across the state.

Halloween Blizzard, 1991

On October 30, 1991, no one in Minnesota foresaw a blizzard. Local meteorologists predicted a few inches of snow. The snow began to fall in the early to mid-afternoon of October 31—Halloween Day— and fell steadily for almost three days. When it stopped, snow measured over thirty inches in the eastern part of Minnesota, from Duluth to Dodge Center, breaking a record set in 1882.

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