Minnesota, The North Star State

Minnesota, The North Star State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Minnesota’s official nickname is The North Star State. The translation of the French motto on the state seal is “the star of the North.”

Another nickname for Minnesota is Land of 10,000 Lakes. The actual number of lakes is 11,842.

The early history of Minnesota

The French explored the Minnesota region in the late 1600s to expand fur trading, but no one built settlements until after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The Minnesota Territory became part of the United States.

Traders came to the territory in the early 1800s, employees of John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. In 1819, The U.S. Army built Fort Snelling, a large stone fort, where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers connect. In 1840, Saint Paul was founded.

Minnesota becomes a state

Minnesota became the thirty-second state on May 11, 1858. The capitol is St. Paul.

charles-lindbergh-516135_960_720War on two fronts

Minnesota had a lot to worry about in the early 1860s. Its citizens fought for the Union in the Civil War.

They also fought with Native Americans, the Dakotas. Both wars ended around the same time.

Charles Lindbergh

Charles A. Lindbergh, the famous pilot, lived in Little Falls as a boy. Lindbergh’s most famous flight took place in 1927 when he flew his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, across the Atlantic Ocean alone.

shopping-mall-1431746_960_720Mall of America

Around 40 million people visit the Mall of America in Bloomington every year, making it the nation’s most visited shopping mall.

The mall is 9.5 million square feet – that’s 78 football fields!

Other fun facts about Minnesota

The Minneapolis Public Library separated children’s books into its own section in 1889. They are believed to be the first Children’s department in a library.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author made famous by the television series Little House on the Prairie, lived near Walnut Grove on Plum Creek.

In 1923, Frank Mars, a candy maker, created the Milky Way bar. He also gave us the Snickers bar and Three Musketeers. Yum!

The state photograph is called Grace.



Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“Minnesota,” History.com, 2016/07/14   http://www.history.com/topics/us-states/minnesota.

“Minnesota,” State Symbols USA, 2016/07/14   http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/states/united-states/minnesota.

“Minnesota Facts and Trivia,” 50 States.com, 2016/07/14  http://www.50states.com/facts/minnesota.htm.


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