Minnesota Facts
Minnesota Facts

26 Interesting Minnesota Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published February 26, 2022
  • A group of people first came to Minnesota 10,000 years ago. Their descendants are the Dakotas. Europeans arrived in the 1600s, and by the 1830s, the Dakotas were being forced off their lands.[4]
  • In 1659, two Frenchmen, Raduisson and Groseilliers, became the first Europeans to reach present-day Minnesota.[4]
  • International Falls has earned the nickname "Icebox of the Nation." Its lowest recorded temperature is -55 degrees F (-48 degrees C).[4]
  • The Mississippi River begins at Lake Itasca in Minnesota and flows over 2,300 miles (3,700km) to the Gulf of Mexico. It takes a drop of water about 90 days to travel the route.[4]
  • Bloomington's Mall of America in Minnesota is the biggest mall in the United States. It has over 500 stores and restaurants, along with an indoor theme park with a roller coaster and water rides.[4]
  • Minnesota Gray Wolf Fact
    Minnesota is the only state in the contiguous U.S. that has continuously had a viable gray wolf population
  • With over 11,000 lakes, Minnesota's nickname is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes."[4]
  • Minnesota means "sky-tinted water."[3]
  • When added together, Minnesota's lake shorelines total over 90,000 miles (145,000 km), which is more shoreline than California, Hawaii, and Florida combined.[3]
  • According to a popular Minnesota saying, Minnesota has four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.[3]
  • Minneapolis has over 8 miles (13 km) of skyways that stretch through downtown. It allows people to walk from building to building without having to walk outside.[3]
  • Many places in Minnesota start with the word "mni," which is from a Dakota word meaning "water."[3]
  • SPAM is canned in Minnesota. The meat has its own fan club and website.[3]
  • In Minnesota, mosquitoes are officially a public nuisance.[3]
  • It's illegal to tease skunks in Minnesota.[3]
  • In 1921 Minnesota, a worker invented the cereal "Wheaties" when he accidentally spilled a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove.[3]
  • Lake Itasca's name is based on the Latin words "veritas" (truth) + "caput" (head), because it marks the "true head" of the Mississippi River.[3]
  • Ralph Samuelson Fact
    Samuelson invented water skis after he thought: "If you can ski on snow, then you can ski on water"
  • Ralph Samuelson invented waterskiing in 1922 at Lake Pepin, Minnesota. He used a pair of boards as skis and clothesline as a tow rope.[1]
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, was once called Pig's Eye. In 1838, a fur trapper named Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant built a tavern near modern-day downtown. The town that grew up around the tavern was hence called "Pig's Eye." In 1841, a Catholic priest renamed it St. Paul.[3]
  • Famous inventions from Minnesota include Scotch tape, Post-it Notes, the Jolly Green Giant, and the Pillsbury Doughboy.[4]
  • Brainerd, Minnesota, hosts the Ice Fishing Extravaganza. Every year, over 12,000 people gather for the contest on (frozen) Gull Lake.[4]
  • Famous Minnesotans include Charles Schulz, Judy Garland, Prince, and Bob Dylan.[3]
  • Although some people say that melting glaciers created Minnesota's famous lakes, others say that the lakes are the footprints of the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe.[4]
  • Northwest Angle Fact
    The Northwest Angle is simply known as "the Angle" by locals
  • Minnesota is the second-most northern state after Alaska and the most northern contiguous state.[3]
  • Around 1862, a secret group in Mankato, Minnesota, formed a group called "The Knights of the Forest." Their stated purpose was to eliminate all Native Americans from Minnesota.[2]
  • Minnesota connotes several stereotypes, including the "Minnesota nice," which is a strong sense of community and shared culture.[3]
  • Minnesota is the backdrop of several famous films and television shows, including Fargo, Grumpy Old Men, Juno, Little House on the Prairie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Golden Girls.[3]
  • Amazing Minnesota Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Minnesota Infographics
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