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The name "Minnesota" comes from the Dakota Indian words meaning "sky-tinted water" or more clearly, "Land of Sky-Blue Waters”. Minnesota was originally settled by the Dakota and Ojibwa Indians.
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.
It is 2,342 freshwater miles from the Atlantic Ocean to Duluth via the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway, and the Duluth Harbor welcomes over 1,000 ocean-going and Great Lakes freighters annually.
Minnesota has 15,291 lakes over 10 acres.
Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
Minnesota is home to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, located about 2 hours north of Duluth.
Duluth is the fourth largest city in Minnesota, with a population of 84,419 according to July 1, 2009 census estimates. At the westernmost point of the Great Lakes on the north shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is linked to the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles (3,700 km) away via the Great Lakes and Erie Canal/New York State Barge Canal or Saint Lawrence Seaway passages and is the Atlantic Ocean's westernmost deep-water port.
Duluth forms a metropolitan area with Superior, Wisconsin. Called the Twin Ports, these two cities share the Duluth-Superior Harbor and together are the world's largest inland port and one of the most important ports on the Great Lakes, shipping coal, iron ore (taconite), and grain. As a tourist destination for the Midwest, Duluth features America's only all-freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium, the Aerial Lift Bridge which spans the short canal into Duluth's harbor, "Park Point", the world's longest freshwater sandbar, spanning 6 miles, and is a launching point for the North Shore.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a 1.09 million acre wilderness area where there are no roads and no motors allowed. The BWCAW is renowned as a destination for both canoeing in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. It is the most visited wilderness in the United States.
The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 allowing oceangoing ships to reach Duluth.
The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States were done at the University of Minnesota.
On September 2, 1952, a 5 year old girl was the first patient to undergo a heart operation in which the deep freezing technique was employed. Her body temperature, except for her head, was reduced to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Floyd Lewis at the Medical School of the University of Minnesota performed the operation.
Rochester is home of the world famous Mayo Clinic. The clinic is a major teaching and working facility. It is known worldwide for its doctor's expertise and the newest methods of treatments.
The Mall of America in Bloomington is big enough to hold 32 Boeing 747 airplanes --- 9.5 million square feet.
Introduced in August 1963, 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 nuclear explosions and break Soviet codes. These computers also were used to model complex phenomena such as hurricanes and galaxies.
Three million cows live and graze in Minnesota.
Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any other state.
The annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon which starts in Duluth is 411 miles long. It commemorates the winter mail runs of its namesake, who delivered mail between Two Harbors and Grand Marais in the late 1800s.
Famous Minnesotans include Bob Dylan (singer, song writer); Judy Garland (singer, actress); Charles Lindbergh (pilot who made the first solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris); Walter F. Mondale, US Vice President and Senator; Charles Schulz (creator of the "Peanuts" cartoon strip); and Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of Little House on the Prairie).
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