Some consider Minnesota a “fly-over state.” But those of us who live here know that our great state deserves more attention than just a passing wave as you make your way to either coast.
For instance, did you know that the first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States were done at the University of Minnesota? Or that Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country? Did you also know that Frank C. Mars, founder of the Mars Candy Co., was born in Newport, Minnesota. His 3 Musketeers candy bar originally contained three bars in one wrapper, each filled with a different flavor of nougat – chocolate, spam, and lutefisk.
Ok, that last one was maybe stretching the truth a tad….
But sometimes it’s more fun to stretch the truth. So when we stumbled upon this blog post from A Closer Look at Flyover Land, we had to share it:
A few little-known facts about Minnesota
Minnesota became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858 and was originally settled by a lost tribe of Norwegians seeking refuge from the searing heat of Wisconsin’s winters.
The state flag of Minnesota consists of a blue background upon which sits a design best described as “how a 7-year-old city girl would draw a picture titled ‘life on the farm’”.
Minnesota gets its name from the Sioux Indian word “mah-nee-soo-tah”, meaning, “No, really… they eat fish soaked in lye”.
The state song of Minnesota is “Someday the Vikings will…Aw, never mind”.
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota covers 9.5 million square feet and has enough space to hold 185,000 idiot teenagers yapping away on cell phones.
Madison, Minnesota is known as “the lutefisk capital of the world”. Avoid this city at all costs.
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was Mary’s first real acting job since leaving the “Dick van Dyke Show”. The show about a single woman’s struggle to find happiness in the big city…
The state motto of Minnesota at one time was “Where even a man who wears a feather boa can be governor.” Now it’s “Where even Stuart Smalley can be Senator.”
Downtown Minneapolis has an enclosed skyway system covering 52 blocks, allowing people to live, work, eat, and sleep without ever going outside. The only downside to this is that a Norwegian occasionally turns up missing.
Cartoonist Charles M. Shultz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in St. Paul. He was the only artist to accurately depict the perfectly circular heads of Minnesota natives.
The Hormel Company of Austin, Minnesota produces 6 million cans of spam a year, even though no one actually eats it. Spam is a prized food in Japan.
Water skis were invented in 1922 in Lake City, Minnesota by Ralph Samuelson. Sadly, he drowned shortly afterwards, as the motorboat hadn’t been invented yet.
St. Paul, Minnesota was originally named “Pig’s Eye”, after French Canadian whiskey trader Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrot. Its “twin city”, Minneapolis, was known as “Pig’s Colon”.
The stapler was invented in Swingline, Minnesota by a chubby, mumbling man named Milton in 1899. The city was mysteriously destroyed by fire later that year.
Pelican Rapids is home to a 16-foot-tall concrete pelican, which subsists on a diet of 4-foot-long concrete fish.
In 1973, Olivia, Minnesota, erected a 25-foot tall fiberglass corn cob to celebrate its rich, agricultural heritage. Then in 1974, it was eaten by a 50-foot statue of Babe the blue ox. Yes, Minnesota has a lot of problems with statue cannibalism.
Minnesota license plates are blue & white and contain the phrase “Blizzards on Independence Day – you get used to it.”
Frank C. Mars, founder of the Mars Candy Co. was born in Newport, Minnesota. His 3 Musketeers candy bar originally contained three bars in one wrapper, each filled with a different flavor of nougat – chocolate, spam, and lutefisk.
The first fully automatic pop-up toaster was invented in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1926. Minnesota’s stringent bread-control laws currently only allow residents to own semi-automatic toasters.
Tonka trucks continue to be manufactured in Minnetonka, Minnesota, despite the thousands of GI Joe dolls killed by them annually in rollover accidents. No airbags, no seat belts. These things are deathtraps, I tell ya!
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder was raised at Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and was famous for writing the “Little House” series of books, as well as inventing the “spam diet” which consists of looking at a plate of spam until you lose your appetite. Much like the “lutefisk diet”.
The snowmobile was invented in Roseau, Minnesota so as to allow families a means of attending Independence Day picnics.
Minnesotans are almost indistinguishable from Wisconsinites. The only way to tell them apart is to ask if they voted for Mondale in ’84.