Minnesota History:
A WebQuest

1) Students will become familiar with basic information related to Minnesota state history.
2) Students will become familiar with online resources for learning about the history of Minnesota.

Answer the following questions and record your answers on the worksheet. All information needed to complete this task is available at one or more of the sites listed on Information and Lesson Plans About Minnesota (and particularly within sites listed under State History).

1. Approximately 12, 000 years ago, much of Northwestern Minnesota was covered by a huge lake that was formed by glacial meltwater as the ice age ended. What name has been given to this lake?

2. Many archaeologists believe that the first people to live in Minnesota migrated across the Bering Strait from Siberia and entered what is now Canada and then the United States between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. Named after the town in New Mexico where this culture's artifacts were first discovered, their presence in Minnesota has been documented by the discovery of characteristic spearheads. Who were these people?

3. Minnesota Native Americans come primarily form two tribes. Can you name them?

4. Though early Native Americans did not leave a written history, carvings of persons, animals, and symbols in rock tell their stories. What are these carvings called?

5. Did Vikings visit Minnesota and have encounters with native peoples long before other Europeans? Some think so, and they base their beliefs on evidence such as the controversial runestone found in 1898 near what Minnesota town?

6. If the Vikings weren't the first Europeans to explore Minnesota, from what country did the first Europeans to explore the state come?

7. What were the names of the two famous European explorers who first visited the the upper portion of the Mississippi River?

8. This Catholic missionary after whom a Minnesota county is now named discovered the Falls of St. Anthony at the present-day site of Minneapolis and was held captive by the Dakota before returning to Europe. Can you name him?

9. Much of what is now Minnesota became the property of the United States in 1803 as part of this famous land deal. What was this purchase called?

10. Two years after this land purchase, 21 men left Saint Louis to explore the Upper Mississippi River as official representatives of the United States of America. What famous explorer headed the expedition?

11. Completed in 1825, this fort built at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers was the northwest link in a chain of forts and agencies built to gain control over the valuable Northwest frontier. Can you name it?

12. Minnesota's capital, Saint Paul, didn't always have such a saintly name. In fact, it was was originally known by the nickname of Pierre Parrant, a notorious whiskey merchant. Do you know what that nickname was?

13. In what year did Minnesota became the thirty-second state admitted to the union?

14. In 1962, this conflict resulted in the death of 486 white settlers and an unknown number of Native Americans. Can you name it?

15. The First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment is best known for its courageous charge during what Civil War battle?

16. The 19th Century brought immigrants from many countries to Minnesota, but particularly from which three European countries?

17. After arriving in Minneapolis in 1869, he turned a run-down Minneapolis flour mill into a thriving business that today has sales of $6 billion and employs more than 17,000 people worldwide. Can you name him?

18. In 1878, almost 69% of tilled land in Minnesota was devoted to the production of what crop?

19. First shipped from the Vermilion Range in 1884, Minnesota is the largest producer of this type of mineral ore. What is it?

20. Opening in 1889, this hospital in Rochester, Minnesota evolved gradually into what world-famous medical facility?

21. Taking office in 1905, he became Minnesota's first native-born governor. Who was he?

22. In 1927 this Little Falls Minnesota native was the first to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Can you name him?

23. The famous Armistice Day blizzard hit Minnesota with nearly 17 inches of snow and left 49 Minnesotans dead. In what year did it occur?

24. In 1968 this Minnesotan lost the presidential election to Richard Nixon. Can you name him?

25. It seems like Minnesotans always come in second, at least in national politics. Can you name the Minnesotan who lost the 1984 presidential election to Ronald Reagan?  

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