Minnesota fast facts and trivia
Hormel Company of Austin, Minn., marketed the first canned ham in 1926. Hormel introduced Spam in 1937. The Spam museum is quickly becoming one of Minnesota’s favorite stops for tourists and especially group tours.
The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields — 9.5 million square feet–and attracts 43-million visitors each year.
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.
Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
The first practical water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph W. Samuelson, who steam bent two 8-foot long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat on a lake in Lake City, Minn.
Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any other state.
There are 201 Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, and 123 Rice Lakes in Minnesota.
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.
- James Arness: Actor, “Gun Smoke,” from Minneapolis.
- Loni Anderson: Actress, “WKRP Cinncinati,” from St. Paul.
- Louie Anderson: Comedian.
- Jack Benny: Comedian and TV host.
- Bob Dylan: Folk singer, from Duluth. Formerly Robert Allen Zimmerman.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald: Novelist, from St. Paul.
- Judy Garland: Movie actress, from Grand Rapids. Formerly Frances Gummn.
- Hubert Humphrey: Vice president under Lyndon B. Johnson.
- Garrison Keillor: Humorist and author. Star of “Lake Woebegon” and “A Prairie Home Companion.”
- Sinclair Lewis: First American to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
- Charles A. Lindbergh Jr: The first man to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic (New York to Paris in 1927), from Little Falls.
- William and Charles Mayo: Founders of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
- Walter F. Mondale: Vice president under Jimmy Carter.
- Prince: Singer, from Minneapolis. Formerly Prince Rogers Nelson.
- Jane Russell: Movie actress from Bemidji.
- Charles Schulz: “Peanuts” cartoonist, from Minneapolis.
- Will Steger: Led expeditions to the North and South Poles.
Tips for outdoors stories
Minnesota is home to the largest lake in the world, Lake Superior; America’s only million-acre canoe wilderness preserve, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW); and the crystal-clear source of the great Mississippi River, Lake Itasca.
Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” offering endless outdoor activities from prairies to waters and woods. But, Minnesota is more! It is big city theater and arts, shopping and entertainment venues, and world-class medical facilities. Water and wildlife as well as culture and business combine to create a diverse environment offering something for everyone.
Environmental areas such as the BWCAW, Voyager National Park, and the Lake of the Woods area provide habitat for countless flora and fauna and activities ranging from canoeing and hiking to skiing and dog sledding. Wildlife such as deer, moose, and wolf abound.
Minnesota’s Native American heritage is evident in many ways, including its influence on names of locations, such as Minneapolis (City of Water), Minnehaha (Laughing Water) and Minnesota (Land of Sky Blue Water). Today, descendants of these native Minnesotans operate numerous casino resorts throughout the state.
In addition to more than 10,000 lakes, Minnesota is home to the Red, St. Croix, Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, and its northeast corner hugs the shores of Lake Superior. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world.
Today, Minnesota’s ethnic, economic, and environmental diversity is its treasure. Here in a land where nature and wildlife meet urban arts and entertainment, there is truly something for everyone.
For more information about the 2010 OWAA Annual Conference, check out www.owaa.org/2010conference.