15 MN Facts on Minnesota’s 162nd Birthday
On May 11, 1858 Minnesota became the 32nd state to join the union making it 162 years old today.
If you grew up in Minnesota or have spent time learning its history, then you probably know random facts like Minnesota's nicknames, motto, state tree and other bits of trivia. Just for fun, however, we've shared some below:
1. The name Minnesota means “cloudy water” or “sky-tinted water.” It comes from the Sioux words “minni” (meaning water) and “sotah” (meaning sky-tinted or cloudy).
2. The name Minnesota was first given to the Minnesota River
3. The state of Minnesota is 86,935 sq. miles or roughly 72x the size of Rhode Island
4. Minnesota has 87 counties.
5. Minnesota's nicknames include "The Land of 10,000 Lakes," "North Star State," and "Gopher State"
6. The nicknames "Gopher State" came from a political cartoon from a railroad scandal back in 1857.
7. Minnesota's motto is "L’Étoile du Nord" or French for “Star of the North." It can be seen on the great seal and state flag.
8. Minnesota has 69,200 miles of rivers and streams -- enough to circle the equator 2.75 times!
9. Minnesota is responsible for one of the nation's greatest tragedies. The hanging of 38 convicted Dakota Native Americans in 1862 remains the largest mass execution in American history.
10. The first successful open heart surgery was performed in Minnesota on September 2, 1952. Dr. Floyd John Lewis and Dr. Clarence Walton Lillehei are credited with repairing a congenital hole in a 5-year old girl's heart at the University of Minnesota.
11. At nearly 9 miles worth of indoor pedestrian walkway connecting 73 blocks, Minneapolis' downtown skyway system is the largest continuous skyway system in the world.
12. Despite being named "The Land of 10,000 Lakes," Minnesota has at least 11,842 lakes of 10 acres or more. Counting smaller lakes, estimates rise as high as 15,000 lakes.
13. With 520 stores and and over 42 million people visiting each year, the Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the world.
14. Between Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities are home to one of the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country, including companies like Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes.
15. At-the-time Vice President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt gave his now-famous "Speak softly and carry a big stick" speech at the Minnesota State Fair in 1901.
Happy Birthday, Minnesota!