Minnesota’s Been Very Good To Me”

It seems like nearly every day someone will ask me what I like best about Minnesota.  That question is usually accompanied with another question…”Do you still have that list of ‘things’ about Minnesota…your bragging rights”?

Yup, I do…and here it is.

Honestly, it’s Minnesota’s people, places and history.  I made a list of “bragging rights”, some of which you may not be aware of about Minnesota and some of its’ people. Let’s see how many of these Minnesota facts you know.

1. Hormel Company of Austin marketed the first canned ham in 1926. Hormel introduced Spam in 1937. I ate a lot of it in 1953.
2. The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields — 9.5 million square feet and attracts 43-million+ visitor each year. 
3. Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country.
4. 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.
5. Rochester is home of the world famous Mayo Clinic.
6. In 1956, Southdale, in Edina, was the first enclosed climate-controlled suburban shopping mall in the entire nation.  Now, look what they’ve done!
7. Ralph W. Samuelson in Lake City, Minnesota.. along the Mississippi River…invented the first practical water skis in 1922. Where’d he get a boat fast enough to pull a water skier back then?
8. McGraw Electric Co. in Minneapolis marketed the first pop-up toaster in June 1926 under the name Toastmaster. The retail price was $13.50…that’s about the price of a slice of bread today.
9. Roller blades were the first commercially successful in-line Roller Skates. Minnesotan’s Scott and Brennan Olson invented them in 1980.
10. Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. the Snickers bar in 1930 and the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. When’s the last time you had a nickel candy bar?
11. Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any other state.
12. Hibbing is the birthplace of the American bus industry. The first bus ran between the towns of Hibbing and Alice in 1914. The line was called Greyhound Lines, Inc. Oh, and that Zimmerman kid was born there.
13. Sears Roebuck was started in Redwood Falls.

How about some outdoor Minnesota facts?
1. Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
2. There are 201 Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, and 123 Rice Lakes in Minnesota.
3. Number of islands in the Lake of the Woods — 14,000
4. Minnesota is home to the largest lake in the world, Superior. There is enough water in Lake Superior to fill all of the other great lakes and still have water left over.
5. Minnesota has America’s only million-acre canoe wilderness preserve, the BWCA.
6. Minnesota is the source of the Mississippi River.
7. Minnesota’s Five Largest Lakes are; Red Lake 288,800 acres, Mille Lacs Lake 132,510 acres, Leech Lake 109,415 acres, Winnibigoshish 69,821 acres and Lake Vermilion 49,110 acres
8. Minnesota’s wolf population is second only to Alaska.
9. Minnesota is home to the fastest lift bridge in the world. At Minnesota point in Duluth harbor, the Aerial Lift Bridge, built in 1930, rises 120 feet in 55 seconds.
10. Movies filmed in Minnesota; Airport, Drop Dead Fred, Fargo, Feeling Minnesota, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men, Jingle All the Way, The Mighty Ducks, Mighty Ducks 2, Mighty Ducks 3

Now let’s talk Famous Minnesota Folk!
James Arness: Actor – “Gun Smoke” from Minneapolis
Betty Crocker: A fictional woman created by General Mills in the 1920′s.
Jack Benny: comedian and TV host.
Bob Dylan: folk singer from Hibbing. Formerly Robert Allen Zimmerman.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: author from St. Paul.
Judy Garland: movie star from Grand Rapids. Formerly Frances Gumm.
Hubert Humphrey: Vice President of the United States from Minnesota.
James J. Hill: Railroad magnate who built the Great Northern railroad line.
Sinclair Lewis: First American to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder ( Little House on the Prairie ) lived on Plum Creek near Walnut Grove.
Charles A. Lindbergh Jr: The first man to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic (New York to Paris, 1927). From Little Falls.
William and Charles Mayo: Founders of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Walter F. Mondale: Vice president.
Jane Russell: Pin up Girl/Actress form Bemidji
Charles Schulz: Famous “Peanuts” cartoonist born in Minneapolis in 1922.
One more:…Jesse Ventura.

I’m just scratching the surface, here folks. But this gives you an idea why I look forward to waking up in Minnesota each day.

My dad, Joe (Lisbon, North Dakota), used to say to me…when I would pay attention…”If you don’t learn something new each day, you’ve wasted a perfectly good day”.

“I’m still learning Dad”!

About little joe

Born on the Midwest Plains...and live the same way. Enjoyed a small town upbringing and a big city career. Value small town ethics and the big city opportunity. Write from the heart while wearing a smile. and enjoy all that's around me
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