When did Minnesota become a State? In this brief history lesson, we’ll explore the key events that led to Minnesota’s admission to the Union.

Minnesota may be known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but its journey to statehood was a long and tumultuous one. From territorial disputes to political maneuvering, the road to becoming the 32nd state was full of twists and turns. In this brief history lesson, we’ll explore the key events that led to Minnesota’s admission to the Union.

Scroll to the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE to watch our travel video “When Did Minnesota Become a State? A Brief History Lesson”

Are you ready to learn when and how Minnesota became a state? Well get ready, because that’s what we are about to find out!

You know, I’ve always thought that travel and history go hand in hand. Knowing the history of a place makes your travel experience come alive when you visit. So if you are a tourist heading for the Land of 10,000 Lakes – or if you’re a local just curious to learn more about our great state then this is the article for you.

Did you know Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858? Because of this May 11 is an official state holiday, celebrated here in Minnesota.

By the way, we were the 32nd state to be admitted to the United States. 

Do you ever find yourself wondering…is Minnesota a good place to live? Read our pros and cons post from a local and find out now: https://jackandkitty.com/2023/04/is-minnesota-a-good-place-to-live-2023-pros-and-cons-honest-opinion-from-local

How Did Minnesota Become a State?

Minnesota became a state through a process laid out in the United States Constitution. The process involves several steps, including:

1. Territorial Status

Minnesota became a territory on March 3, 1849, when it was created from part of the Wisconsin Territory.

2. Statehood Petition

The Minnesota territorial legislature petitioned Congress for statehood in 1856, but the bill did not pass due to concerns over the admission of a new free state in the North.

3. Statehood Convention

In 1857, the territorial legislature called for a constitutional convention to draft a state constitution. The convention was held in St. Paul and the resulting constitution was ratified by the voters of Minnesota in October of that year.

4. Congressional Approval

The constitution was then sent to Congress for approval, which it received in February 1858.

5. Presidential Approval

President James Buchanan signed the bill admitting Minnesota to the Union on May 11, 1858.

After these steps were completed, Minnesota officially became a state on that day.

Do Minnesotans Celebrate the Day of Their Statehood?

As I mentioned earlier, Minnesota’s statehood is officially celebrated on May 11 each year, which is known as Minnesota Statehood Day. It is not a widely recognized holiday, but some Minnesotans may choose to celebrate the occasion with special events or activities.

The Minnesota Historical Society often organizes events and educational programs to commemorate the state’s history and culture on Statehood Day. Some schools may also include lessons or activities related to Minnesota Statehood Day in their curriculum.

Overall, it is a day to reflect on and celebrate the state’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Love Minnesota? You betcha!

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What Would I do to Celebrate Minnesota Statehood Day?

There are many ways to celebrate Minnesota Statehood Day, depending on your interests and location. Here are a few ideas that my wife Kitty and I have done over the years…

1. Visit a state park or historic site

Minnesota has many beautiful state parks and historic sites that you can visit to learn more about the state’s natural and cultural heritage. May is a great time to get outside…the winter should be over and chances are you’ll luck out with pleasant, sunny weather.

2. Attend a local event

Check local event listings to see if there are any special events or activities happening in your community to celebrate Statehood Day. For example, some communities may hold parades, festivals, or historical reenactments.

3. Explore Minnesota’s culture

Minnesota is known for its rich cultural heritage, from Scandinavian traditions to Native American history. You can explore these cultural traditions by visiting museums, art exhibits, or cultural centers in your area.

4. Learn about Minnesota’s history

Minnesota has a fascinating history, from the fur trade era to the Civil War and beyond. You can learn more about Minnesota’s history by visiting historical sites, reading books or articles, or watching documentaries.

5. Make a Minnesota-themed meal

This is my favorite way to celebrate! Minnesota has its own unique culinary traditions, such as: hotdish, wild rice soup, and lutefisk. You can celebrate Statehood Day by making a Minnesota-themed meal and sharing it with friends or family. It’s also a good day to celebrate locally made products. Most supermarkets nowadays will have a special section or labeling system highlighting what’s made in Minnesota.


So there you have it. May 11 – it’s an important date for us Minnesotans. If you’re a local, let folks know in the comments how you celebrate. If you’re planning on visiting our state – let fellow travelers know what you are most looking forward to. Is it being outdoors? Shopping? Eating? A cultural event? Either way – I know you’re going to have a heckuva good time when you experience Minnesota.

Have a super day!

Want a short video to see more of Minnesota? Just watch this!

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About the Authors
Jack and Kitty Norton are Emmy Award winning travel experts. They have spent a lifetime on the road: as traveling musicians, documentary filmmakers and television producers. They now focus on writing for their travel blog (JackAndKitty.com) and making fun videos for their YouTube channel. Jack and Kitty offer travelers fun and quirky things to do in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond. High school sweethearts turned married soulmates, the couple lives in the small college town of Winona, Minnesota and would love to have you over for some hotdish.

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