20 (Suspicious Yet Mildly Useful) Facts About Minnesota

Dan Van Oss American States, Complete Columns, History 1 Comment

1

Official Motto: “L’Etoile du nord” (“Even Our Toilet Paper Is Frozen”). Unofficial Motto: “Land of 10,000 (Usually Frozen) Lakes”.

2

Minnesota baseball commentator Halsey Hal was the first to say ‘Holy Cow’ during a baseball broadcast, just after realizing his parents intentionally named him “Halsey Hal”.

3

President Teddy Roosevelt gave his “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” speech in 1901 at the Minnesota State Fair. The speech referred to the notion that if you don’t want your wife to find out you’re eating a deep-fried Giant Snickers on a stick you should remain as silent as possible.

4

The original name of the settlement that became St. Paul was Pig’s Eye, so named because the original settlers really disliked living there.

5

The world’s largest pelican stands in downtown Pelican Rapids and is 15.5 feet tall. It was frozen in carbonite in 1957 by Jabba the Hutt because of outstanding gambling debts.

6

Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, which is more than Hawaii, California, and Florida combined. Unfortunately, only 2.5 miles of these are actually unfrozen.

7

Rochester is the home of the world-famous Mayo Clinic, dedicated to curing patients suffering from intractable Miracle Whip poisoning.

8

Darwin is home to the world’s largest twine ball, which weighs 17,400 pounds and is twelve feet in diameter. Darwin has also attracted the world’s largest cat, an orange tabby nicknamed “Megatron” who has destroyed the city 4 times.

9

The stapler was invented in Spring Valley. Ironically, the spring was invented in nearby Stapler Valley.

10

It would take an average cow 4-5 years to produce the 20,000 gallons of milk served at State Fair’s All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand, but, due to genetic enhancement and modern squeezing technology, it only takes 14 Super Cows.

11

Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson invented rollerblades in 1980, when they were looking for another way for teenagers to absolutely destroy themselves on hand railings.

12

The Hormel Company in Austin first introduced Spam on July 5th, 1937, named after the founder’s wife, who was made entirely of a weird, pressed, ham-like substance.

13

The Control Data 6600, designed by Control Data Corp. of Chippewa Falls, was the first Super Computer. It was used by the military to simulate a game of ping pong using a ball of light and two vertical paddles.

14

The Polaris company of Roseau accidentally invented the snowmobile when the president ran his new Model T into the back of a parked sleigh.

15

The Kensington Runestone was found in 1898 on a farm near Alexandria. The stone carvings allegedly tell of a journey of a band of Vikings who traveled to a place called “Lambeau Field”, where they defeated many Packers.

16

The Mall of America is equal to the size of 78 football fields, roughly equal to one for each of the games a man will miss in his lifetime because of being dragged there to shop.

17

The world’s largest boot is located in Red Wing, and weighs over a ton. The world’s largest Dr. Scholl’s Pad is located in nearby Hager City.

18

The Minnesota State Fair uses 22,000 rolls of toilet paper each year. 1,000 of these are put on sticks, dipped in batter, fried, and served to unsuspecting Iowans.

19

The first practical water skis were invented by Ralph W. Samuelson in 1922, who steam-bent two pine boards into skis. The first impractical skis were invented by his brother, Dwight, who bent two snowshoes around a couple of coffee cans and sank without a trace in Lake Artichoke.

20

Alexander Anderson of Red Wing developed the processes to create puffed wheat and puffed rice, where small kernels of grain are continuously told how important they are and that they are much more handsome than anyone in the movies.

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