What Are Some Facts About the History of Minnesota?


Quick Answer

Minnesota was the 32nd state to join the nation; it entered statehood on May 11, 1858, and has the most northern boundary of all the continental states. Minnesota's population passed the 5 million mark in 2010 and has been called home by settlers, Native Americans and early Americans for 9,000 years, which is the age of the oldest human remains in the state.

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Full Answer

Minnesota's history contains tragic events, medical breakthroughs and technological feats. In December 1862, over 30 Native Americans of the Dakota tribe were sentenced to death by hanging, as ordered by President Abraham Lincoln. Later in 1862, Congress passed a law banning Dakota tribes from Minnesota.

In the mid-1800s, a physician named Dr. William Mayo moved from England to Minnesota. After receiving a medical degree in the United States, Mayo moved to the Rochester, Minnesota, area and eventually opened what became the world-famous Mayo Clinic. In 1952, the first successful open heart surgery in the United States was performed in Minnesota.

Minnesota's economy was initially driven by farming. In the 1800s, immigrants from Europe settled into Minnesota. As farming increased, so did technology. The Great Northern Railway, Mississippi Railroad and other transportation hubs emerged in Minnesota. In 1882, the first hydroelectric power plant was erected near Saint Anthony Falls, making Minnesota home to the first hydroelectric plant in the United States.

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