50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About MinneapolisEven if you've lived in Minneapolis all your life, some of these facts may surprise you.
1. A Minneapolis City Council candidate was indicted by a grand jury for serving Twinkies to groups of elderly voters. After the scandal, a fair campaign act was established, which is now commonly known as the “Twinkie Law.”
2. The inventor of the first pop-up toaster, Charles Strite, was born in Minneapolis. Later, he first marketed his invention in the same city.
3. Several streets in the North East region of Minneapolis are named after US Presidents in the order that they served. This was done to help immigrants prepare for their citizenship tests.
4. Famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow based his poem, “The Song of Hiawatha,” on Minnehaha Falls. Ironically, he had never actually seen the waterfall in person.
5. The Minneapolis Skyway, spanning 69 downtown blocks, is the longest continuous skyway system in the world.
6. General Mills’ famous baking icon, Betty Crocker, had her debut on a Minneapolis radio station. She was originally voiced by Agnes White.
7. Minneapolis also helped bakers everywhere by designing the Bundt pan and creating Bisquick.
8. The honeycrisp apple was invented at the University of Minnesota.
9. Halsey Hall, a Minneapolis sports reporter and announcer, was the first person to say “Holy cow” as a home run call on radio.
10. Minneapolis is the nation’s third most literate city, only topped by Seattle and Washington.
11. With 5,000 acres of park, Minneapolis is ranked as having the best parks in the country.
12. The Mars Inc. candy company was founded in Minneapolis as Mar-O-Bar co in 1920. They gave the US favorite treats like Milky Way and Snickers.
13. Minneapolis (combined with St. Paul) is the 3rd largest theatre market in the US and is second only to New York City for the most live theatre seats per capita.
14. Not only did the recording studio Sound 80 make the first digital audio recording to be commercially released, but they also recorded several Grammy award winning musicians, including Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens.
15. Minneapolis’ name comes from the Sioux word mini and the Greek word polis, together meaning “city of waters”.
16. Brave New Workshop is the oldest sketch comedy theatre in nation. It’s also where Al Franken, one of the two original writers of “Saturday Night Live,” performed before working on the hit TV show.
17. Despite popular belief, The Mall of America in the Minneapolis suburb Bloomington is not the largest mall in the country. However, it is the busiest and has the highest number of stores (which is what really counts).
18. The now Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown used to be the building where legendary musician Bob Dylan lived.
19. Minneapolis has the highest number of golfers per capita in the nation.
20. Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, born in Minneapolis, performed the world’s first successful open-heart operation at the University of Minnesota.
21. Before it premiered on Broadway and became a hit sensation, the musical version of “The Lion King” debuted at the Orpheum theatre in Minneapolis.
22. The nation’s first armored car was built in Minneapolis.
23. There’s a long going rivalry over who first made the Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy) which is, essentially, a cheese-stuffed burger. Some say Matt’s Bar was first, but others argue that it was the 5-8 Club. Regardless, both restaurants’ versions are delicious.
24. The Minneapolis Public Library was the first library in America to separate its children’s books from other sections.
25. The clock tower in the Old City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse is over 340 feet tall and has face clock faces that are larger than those on London’s Big Ben.
26. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, recently demolished, was the only facility in the country to host a Super Bowl, World Series, MLB All-Star Game and NCAA Division I Basketball Final Four.
27. Minneapolis is one of the techiest cities in the country—they were among the first in the US to use wireless internet and Geek Squad was founded there.
28. Minneapolis has no sales tax on apparel and accessories.
29. The Salt Cave Minneapolis is Minnesota’s first ever therapeutic salt cave.
30. The first bridge to cross the Mississippi River was placed where Hennepin Avenue Bridge is now. However, you can still see the anchor stones of the original bridge.
31. An average of 10,000 cyclists use Minneapolis bike lanes each day.
32. With all those cyclists, it’s no wonder that Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis Americas #1 bike-friendly city.
33. The first Better Business Bureau was founded in Minneapolis in 1912.
34. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country, spanning 11 acres with 40 permanent art installations.
35. According to US News & World Report, the 2nd and 3rd best hospitals in Minnesota are in Minneapolis (Allina Abbott Northwestern Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center, respectively). The 4th best is located in Minneapolis suburb Coon Rapids. All 3 are ranked among the best in the nation.
36. Prince is the official pioneer of “Minneapolis sound,” a hybrid mix of funk, rock, pop, synthpop and new wave.
37. Open Book in Minneapolis is the largest literary and book arts center in the country.
38. Minneapolis and its suburbs are home to 12 Fortune 500 companies.
39. Starting in 1880 and for 50 years after, Minneapolis was known as the Flour Capital of the World.
40. There are over 20 lakes within Minneapolis’ city limits, leading to its well-deserved nickname “city of lakes.”
41. Legendary Musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Paul Simon have all performed at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
42. The Guthrie Theatre is the largest regional playhouse in the country.
43. St. Anthony Falls is the only true waterfall on the entire Mississippi River.
44. The Walker Art Center is one of the 5 most visited modern/contemporary art museums in the US.
45. Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, is a Minneapolis native.
46. The Mary Tyler Moore Statue on Nicollet Avenue marks where Moore throws her hat during the show’s iconic opening sequence.
47. Target is headquartered in Minneapolis.
48. The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is the country’s oldest public wildflower garden.
49. The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre is the largest dinner theatre in the US.
50. Minneapolis is home to the 50-mile Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, one of the nation’s best urban scenic byways.
What's your favorite Minneapolis fun fact? Tell us in the comments below!
Zip Codes and Neighborhoods in Minneapolis, MN
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