Minneapolis is awesome, there’s no doubt about it, but no matter how well you know the city (or how long you’ve lived here), there are always new things to learn! These 23 fun little facts show off some of the quirky, unique, and wonderful things that make Minneapolis great. Now you have some new things to brag to your friends about!
1. The world can thank us for the most delicious apple ever. The Honeycrisp variety was invented in an apple breeding program at the University of Minnesota.
It’s no surprise that this apple became the Minnesota State Fruit in 2006.
2. We all know that the Mall of America is no longer considered the largest shopping mall in the country… but did you know it is larger than 78 football fields?
In 2011, Google created indoor maps for the Mall of America. That’s how big it is. (Side note: We really miss Camp Snoopy.)
3. It’s no secret that Charles M. Schulz - creator of the 'Peanuts' comics - was born in Minneapolis (and grew up in St. Paul), but did you know that the first time a drawing of the dog that later became Snoopy appeared in a published illustration, it wasn’t in the newspaper?
Schulz submitted a drawing of his dog Spike (who was actually a pointer, not a beagle) to 'Ripley’s Believe It or Not!' in 1937 when he was just 15 years old! The 'Peanuts' comic wasn’t published until 1950.
4. Did you ever wonder where the phrase “holy cow!” came from? Minneapolis sports announcer Halsey Hall first used this exclamation in response to a home run on a radio broadcast.
5. Almost 10,000 cyclists hit the roads, paths, and trails in Minneapolis every single day.
It’s no wonder Minneapolis is ranked as one of the "Best City for Bikes" in the world!
6. The Minneapolis Institute of Art is home to one of the most impressive jade collections in the country and includes a 640-pound sculpture named Jade Mountain.
It’s the largest piece of jade in the entire Western Hemisphere!
7. Here’s a head-scratcher: our lovely city is home to the most golfers per capita in America!
8. This city has a seriously underrated comedy scene; the oldest sketch comedy theater, Brave New Workshop, is located right here in Minneapolis!
9. Minneapolis recording studio Sound 80 is credited for creating the first commercially released digital audio recording.
The celebrated studio has recorded numerous Grammy award winners, including Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan.
10. On the topic of music… you can thank us for Prince (R.I.P.)
The 7-time Grammy Award winner developed the unique "Minneapolis sound," which is one very cool genre-blend of rock, pop, and funk roots.
11. St. Anthony Falls is the only real waterfall spanning the Mississippi River.
12. And the first bridge ever built across the Mississippi River was right here in Minneapolis.
It was built in 1855 and was formerly located where the Hennepin Avenue Bridge now sits, but you can still see some of the anchor stones around the base!
13. Bakers rejoice! Minneapolis native Marjorie Husted created the Betty Crocker character in 1921.
The iconic cooking queen has inspired home-chefs around the world with her tasty cookbooks and easy-peasy cake mixes for more than 95 years! If you have never tasted the Chocolate Crinkles from the 'Betty Crocker Cooky Book,' you are seriously missing out… they are heavenly!
14. Speaking of famous baked goods, the Minneapolis-based Pillsbury Company was founded in 1872. Who doesn’t love Funfetti?
15. The Metrodome (demolished in 2014, now the site of US Bank Stadium) was the only sports arena in the country to host the Super Bowl (in 1992), a NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship (in 1992 and 2001), and both the Major League Baseball World Series (in 1987 and 1991) and All-Star Game (in 1985).
16. Go! Fight! Win! Cheerleading was born in 1898 at the University of Minnesota. Medical student Johnny Campbell gathered a group to help pump up fans at a Gophers vs. Northwestern football game by leading a series of unified chants.
We bet those first pom-pom wielders weren’t quite as impressive as their acrobatic modern counterparts.
17. Despite the hubbub and chaos of a major metro city, Minneapolis is also home to the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the “Quietest Place on Earth.”
The "quietest spot" is located in the anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories, which is used for product testing and acoustics research.
18. Everyone knows The Mayo Clinic in Rochester is one of the best hospitals in the entire world, but Minneapolis native Dr. C. Walton Lillehei was the first surgeon to perform a successful open-heart surgery at the University of Minnesota in 1953.
19. Sure, we all have some issues with the movie 'Fargo' (like the fact that Fargo is in North Dakota, despite the note in the opening credits)… but the award-winning directors, Joel and Ethan Coen, were born and raised in St. Louis Park and have produced plenty of other movies that we love.
'A Serious Man' was also shot in Minnesota. 'No Country for Old Men' won 4 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, and 1 BAFTA Award. 'True Grit' was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and took home a BAFTA Award. And let’s not forget 'The Big Lebowski'… the cult-classic had a rough initial run in theaters, but has since been added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant," it inspired a tongue-in-cheek religion called Dudeism, and the characters even inspired the names for TWO different African spider species (Anelosimus biglebowski and Anelosimus dude)! The Dude abides.
20. Even non-cat-lovers have a hard time NOT smiling at ridiculous internet videos of cats (you can admit it, we know it’s true), but Minneapolis took it to a whole new level in 2012, when the Walker Art Center celebrated the world’s first Internet Cat Video Festival.
Yup, it’s exactly what it sounds like… a whole event dedicated to silly kitties. Almost 10,000 people attended the event!
21. Speaking of The Walker Art Center… it’s among the Top 5 modern art museums in the country.
The museum’s collection contains 13,000 individual works and attracts more than 700,000 visitors each year!
22. Beloved American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, “The Song of Hiawatha,” was inspired by the stunningly beautiful Minnehaha Falls… but Wadsworth never actually visited the falls!
23. We invented the Juicy Lucy.
We love uncovering little tidbits like these – fun facts like these just go to show that no matter how well you know your hometown, you can still learn something new every single day!
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