Just to let you know I haven’t forgotten Minnesota – I keep this list cousin Larry sent me on the wonderful things from Minnesota. Enjoy and I bet you have a few surprises. Minnesotans have much to be proud of.
1. Minnesotan baseball commentator Halsey Hal was the first to say ‘Holy Cow’ during a baseball broadcast. [Addendum: During a radio broadcast of a Gopher football game in the 1950s I heard Halsey Hal say, "Holy shit! Look at that sonofabitch go!" -- Larry C. Randen]
2. The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields 9.5 million square feet.
3. Minnesota Inventions: Masking and Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, HMOs, the bundt pan, Aveda beauty products, and Green Giant vegetables
4. The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 allowing oceangoing ships to reach Duluth.
5. Minneapolis is home to the oldest continuously running theater (Old Log Theater) and the largest dinner theater (Chanhassan Dinner Theater) in the country.
6. The original name of the settlement that became St. Paul was Pig’s Eye. Named for the French-Canadian whiskey trader, Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant, who had led squatters to the settlement.
7. The world’s largest pelican stands at the base of the Mill Pond dam on the Pelican River, right in downtown Pelican Rapids. The 15 1/2 feet tall concrete statue was built in 1957.
8. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country.
9. The Guthrie Theater is the largest regional playhouse in the country. (Minneapolis famed skyway system connecting 52 blocks (nearly five miles) of downtown makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside.
10. Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country.
11. The climate-controlled Metrodome is the only facility in the country to host a Super Bowl, a World Series and a NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship.
12. Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
13. The nations first Better Business Bureau was founded in Minneapolis in 1912.
14. The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States were done at the University of Minnesota.
15. Bloomington and Minneapolis are the two farthest north latitude cities to ever host a World Series game.
16. Madison is the “Lutefisk capital of the United States”.
17. Rochester is home of the world famous Mayo Clinic. The clinic is a major teaching and working facility. It is known world wide for its doctor’s expertise and the newest methods of treatments.
18. The Bergquist cabin, built in 1870 by John Bergquist, a Swedish immigrant, is the oldest house in Moorhead still on its original site.
19. For many years, the world’s largest twine ball has sat in Darwin. It weighs 17,400 pounds, is twelve feet in diameter, and was the creation of Francis A. Johnson.
20. The stapler was invented in Spring Valley.
21. In 1956, Southdale, in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, was the first enclosed climate-controlled suburban Shop in 50 states.
22. Private Milburn Henke of Hutchinson was the first enlisted man to land with the first American Expeditionary Force in Europe in WWII on January 26, 1942.
23. The first practical water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph W. Samuelson, who steam-bent 2 eight-foot-long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat on a lake in Lake City.
24. In Olivia a single half-husked cob towers over a roadside gazebo. It is 25 feet tall, made of fiberglass, and has been up since 1973.
25. The first Children’s department in a Library is said to be that of the Minneapolis Public Library, which separated children’s books from the rest of the collection in Dec. 1889.
26. The first Automatic Pop-up toaster was marketed in June 1926 by McGraw Electric Co. in Minneapolis under the name Toastmaster. The retail price was $13.50.
27. On September 2, 1952, a 5 year old girl was the first patient to under go a heart operation in which the deep freezing technique was employed. Her body temperature, except for her head, was reduced to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Floyd Lewis at the Medical School of the University of Minnesota performed the operation.
28. The first Aerial Ferry was put into Operation on April 9, 1905, over the ship canal between Duluth to Minnesota Point. It had room enough to accommodate 6 automobiles. Round trip took 10 min.
29. Rollerblades were the first commercially successful in-line Roller Skates. Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson invented them in 1980, when they were looking for a way to practice Hockey during the off-season. Their design was an ice hockey boot with 3 inline wheels instead of a blade.
30. The first Intercollegiate Basketball game was played in Minnesota on February 9,1895.
31. In 1919 a Minneapolis factory turned out the nations first armored cars.
32. Tonka Trucks were developed and are continued to be manufactured in Minnetonka.
33. Hormel Company of Austin marketed the first canned ham in 1926. Hormel introduced Spam in 1937.
34. Introduced in August 1963, The Control Data 6600, designed by Control Data Corp. of Chippewa Falls, was the first Super Computer. It was used by the military to simulate nuclear explosions and break Soviet codes. These computers also were used to model complex phenomena such as hurricanes and galaxies.
35. Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. Mars marketed the Snickers bar in 1930 and introduced the 5 cent. Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers bar contained 3 bars in one wrapper. Each with different flavor nougat.
36. A Jehovah’s Witness was the first patient to receive a transfusion of artificial blood in 1979 at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He had refused a transfusion of real blood because of his religious beliefs.
37. Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any
38. There are 201 Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, and 123 Rice Lakes commonly named in Minnesota.
39. The Hull-Rust mine in Hibbing became the largest open-pit mine in the world.
40. Minnesota’s waters flow outward in three directions: north to Hudson Bay in Canada, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.
41. At the confluence of the Big Fork and Rainy Rivers on the Canadian border near International Falls stands the largest Indian burial mound in the upper midwest. It is known as the Grand Mound historic site.
42. Author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived on Plum Creek near Walnut Grove.
43. Akeley is birthplace and home of world’s largest Paul Bunyan Statue. The kneeling Paul Bunyan is 20 feet tall. He might be the claimed 33 feet tall, if he were standing.
44. Hibbing is the birthplace of the American bus industry. It sprang from the business acumen of Carl Wickman and Andrew “Bus Andy” Anderson-who opened the first bus line (with one bus) between the towns of Hibbing and Alice in 1914. The bus line grew to become Greyhound Lines, Inc.
45. The first official hit in the Metrodome in Minneapolis was made by Pete Rose playing for the Cincinnati Reds in a preseason game.
46. Polaris Industries of Roseau invented the snowmobile.
47. Twin Cities-based Northwest Airlines was the first major airline to ban smoking on international flights.
48. Alexander Anderson of Red Wing discovered the processes to puff wheat and rice giving us the indispensable rice cakes.
49. In 1898, the Kensington Rune stone was found on the farm of Olaf Ohman, near Alexandria. The Kensington Rune stone carvings allegedly tell of a journey of a band of Vikings in 1362.