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Sometimes called the North Star State, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Gopher State or the Bread and Butter State, Minnesota has all sorts of charm and character spread throughout its more than 1200 square miles of land. 

National Minnesota Day offers the perfect opportunity to take some time out and show appreciation to this state and those folks who hail from it!

History of National Minnesota Day

Each state of the US has a unique and interesting history that spans decades or even centuries, and Minnesota is certainly no different! From its thousands of lakes to its influential Native American roots, this state offers a wide range of characteristics from city to country, natural and wildlife offerings, and so much more.

But what is the significance of celebrating this day on March 1? National Minnesota Day came about as part of a larger project intended to celebrate each state of the Union throughout the year. Starting in the order in which the states entered the union, and appropriately beginning the celebration calendar during the week of the 4th of July, the turn for the state of Minnesota came around in early March, as the 32nd state. Therefore, National Minnesota Day is celebrated on March 1!

National Minnesota Day Timeline

1600s (and Earlier) 

Dakota Sioux in the Minnesota territory 

When European settlers arrive here, the Dakota Sioux are the largest Native American tribe in the area.[1]

Late 1600s

French explorers in this territory 

French fur traders, explorers and missionaries spend time in the area that would become Minnesota.[2]

1858

Minnesota joins the Union 

Becoming the 32nd US state on May 11 of this year and the state seal is then adopted by legislature.[3]

1893

Original Minnesota State Flag is adopted 

A colorful seal on a white field, this flag depicts a farming scene with a Native American on a horse in the background. It will eventually be changed in 1957 and 1983.[4]

1965

Hubert Humphrey becomes US Vice President 

A graduate of University of Minnesota, mayor of Minneapolis, and US Senator, Hubert Humphrey is elected vice president and serves for four years.[5]

How to Celebrate National Minnesota Day

Grab some Minnesotans and celebrate the wonders of this state on National Minnesota Day. It’s a perfect time to join in on some northern fun and have a blast with some of these plans and ideas for the day:

Plan a Visit to Minnesota

Perhaps most of the people who will be celebrating National Minnesota Day are already inhabitants of this great state, and that’s certainly worth throwing a party or taking a day off of work for! But for those who don’t live in the state, it may be that planning a visit is the best way to celebrate the day. Check out what all of the fuss is about, from visiting some amazing lakes and natural scenes to popping into the Mall of America (the mall with a roller coaster) there is plenty to do, see and enjoy in Minnesota!

Those who are interested in urban life will probably want to head toward the Twin Cities, which are made up of Minneapolis and St. Paul, flanking the Mississippi River. The Pipestone National Monument, the Voyageurs National Park and Grand Marais Island are all places that boast amazing natural beauty. And as a port city on Lake Superior, Duluth certainly won’t disappoint either!

Learn Fun Facts About Minnesota

One of the best ways to celebrate National Minnesota Day might be to learn and enjoy sharing some interesting tidbits of information about this north-central state. Check out some of these facts about Minnesota, just for fun:

  • Minnesota has a state muffin. The official blueberry muffin recipe was adopted in 1988 and it even has its own statute!

  • Due to the existence of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, this state is on the cutting edge of medical technology. In fact, the first bone marrow transplant and first open heart surgery in the world took place in the state of Minnesota.

  • Minnesota has produced a number of famous musicians and actors, including Prince, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland and the Andrews Sisters. Actress Winona Ryder is also from the state of Minnesota and was even named after a town there.

  • Even though it is cold in the winter, Minnesota is a beautiful natural space with tons of lakes – and more bike paths to enjoy than any other state in the US.

Practice the Minnesota Accent

It’s true that many different states in the US have their own accented way of speaking and Minnesota is no different. In fact, the accent is often referred to as the “Minnesota Nice”. Some of the sound may come from the fact that many of the people who live in this state are descendants of Nordic people groups, including Swedish and Norwegian.

While perhaps it’s a bit more difficult to identify and mimic than say, a southern accent, or a Boston accent, it still has its own unique lilt and sound. To learn what the Minnesota accent sounds like, the best way to learn is listen to someone who is from there. 

Phrases like “you betcha!” or “yah shure” might be an immediate tip off in guessing where they are from. But if none of these Minnesotans are available nearby, some online research should help out a lot. For instance, the secretary from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a delightful example. And once it’s been listened to, it simply needs to be repeated, which is kind of fun and can even be a bit contagious.

Watch Some Films Set in Minnesota

Take a look at some of these interesting Hollywood movies that have been set in various towns in the state of Minnesota. While watching, check out some of the characters from these shows or movies who display a Minnesota accent:

  • Fargo (1996). Sure, the accents in this sleeper cult classic may be a bit thick and overdone, but everything in this film is a bit over the top. Still, the movie is set between Minneapolis and Brainerd, and it even has a spin off crime show that has run for at least four seasons.
  • New In Town (2009). Harry Connick, Jr. certainly can’t hide his New Orleans accent, but when Renee Zelweger’s character moves to New Ulm, Minnesota from Miami, she’s surrounded by some amazing accents, not the least of which comes from Siobhan Fallon Hogan. (This one was actually filmed in Canada, though.)
  • North Country (2005). Charlize Theron, Frances Dormond, Richard Jenkins and Jeremy Renner do a great job with the Minnesota accents in this film that is based on true events in a mine in the late 1980s.
  • Juno (2007). Set in Elk River, Minnesota, a small town outside of Minneapolis, this movie tells the story of sixteen year old Juno MacGuff. (This one was also actually filmed in Canada.) 

National Minnesota Day FAQs

What time zone is Minnesota in?

Minnesota is in the Central Time Zone in the US.[1]

Where is Minnesota?

Minnesota is in the north central of the United States, bordering Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.[2]

Does Minnesota have 10,000 lakes?

Nearly 1/3 of Minnesota is covered in lakes and a state nickname of “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, but the number may be somewhere between 11,000 and 14,000.[3]

Is Minnesota a state?

Yes! Minnesota was admitted in 1858 as the 32nd state in the US.

How did Minnesota get its name?

This state may be named after the Minnesota River, but the word is derived from a Dakota Native American word for “water”.[4]

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