Friday, 30 September 2011

Minnesota

Region: Upper Midwest

Borders: The state shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and Wisconsin on the northeast; the remainder of the eastern border is with Wisconsin. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba to the north.

Capital: Saint Paul.

State abbreviation: MN

State nicknames:

The North Star State: Perhaps the most common nickname for Minnesota, "The North Star State" evolved from the State Motto L'Etoile du Nord or "Star of the North." The State Motto appears on the Great Seal of Minnesota and the State Flag.

Land of 10,000 Lakes: This nickname reminds one of the many lakes in Minnesota. In fact, there are 11,842 lakes that are 10 acres or more. Depending on one's definition of a lake, we have seen numbers as high as 15,000. Minnesota's license plates display the legend "10,000 Lakes."

Lake Itasca, source of the Mississippi River

The Bread and Butter State: This name came into use at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, New York in 1902. The superior wheat, flour and dairy products of Minnesota caused the state to be referred to as "The Bread and Butter State."

The Wheat State: This name pays tribute to Minnesota's Wheat crops.

The Gopher State: According to Minnesota in Three Centuries, 1908, "Minnesota received its most widely know sobriquet, "The Gopher State," from the striped gopher, a common species throughout our prairie region."

It seems that there was some discussion in the middle of the 19th century, before Minnesota became a state, about whether to call Minnesota "The Gopher State" or "The Beaver State." Opponents of "The Gopher State" called the striped gopher an insignificant animal with a destructive nature. The striped gopher was too useless and undignified to represent the future great state of Minnesota. Opponents of "The Beaver State" argued that the beaver, while numerous in streams, was not abundant enough to represent to whole of Minnesota. A political cartoon, widely circulated throughout the territory, gave wider exposure to the gopher and "The Beaver State" faded into history.

New England of the West: Because of the large number of New England emigrants to the territory, Minnesota was sometimes referred to as the "New England of the West."

State flag: It consists of a medium blue field charged with the state seal. The current flag was adopted in 1957 and the state seal in the flag was modified in 1983.

State animal: Minnesota is fairly unique among the 50 United States in that it does not have an official stateanimal or mammal.There have been several attempts to declare a state animal of Minnesota, none of which has passed. The four most popular choices have been the white-tailed deer, the Eastern timber wolf, the black bear and the gopher. The white-tailed deer has garnered the most legislative attempts to make it the state animal of Minnesota.


The state animal of Minnesota, as of mid-2011, remains undefined and the subject of legislative efforts. A bill submitted in May 2011 again proposed the black bear as the stateanimal, though no action was immediately forthcoming. Those who tire of waiting for a Minnesota state animal or mammal to be named do have a few official options in related categories. For example, the official state bird is the common loon, while the state insect is the monarch butterfly, and the state fish is the walleye.

State colors: Royal blue. Minnesota is a Dakota word meaning approximately sky tinged or tinted waters. That is, waters the color of the sky. Minne = water, sota=sky color.

State flower: Pink and white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae), also known as the showy lady slipper.


State motto: L’etoile du Nord (translation: “Star of the North”).

See many more symbols of Minnesota here.

Largest Cities: Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Rochester.

Minneapolis & Rochester

Sources:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

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