This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: March 1

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The territorial legislature incorporates the St. Peter Company, which is authorized to engage in milling and waterpower work and to develop real estate. The company's stockholders hope to move the state capital to St. Peter, but their efforts are thwarted (see February 27). James J. Hill would purchase the company's charter in 1901, hoping that its real estate powers would prove useful to the Great Northern Railway.


Minneapolis is approved for a town government by the territorial legislature. It would become a city ten years later. The legislature also forms three counties: Lake County, named for Lake Superior; McLeod County, named for Martin McLeod, a fur trader and member of the territorial legislature; and Pine County, named for the extensive pine forests of the region or perhaps for the Pine River and Pine Lakes.


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.


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.


Patrick Des Jarlait is born on the Red Lake Reservation. He would paint colorful, stylized images of Ojibwe traditional life.


"Runaway Train" by the Minneapolis group Soul Asylum wins a Grammy for best rock song.