The memorable characters, remarkable places and notable inventions that have gained a place in our cultural identity.
The Pillsbury Doughboy debuted in 1965 with a trademarked giggle provided by Paul Frees, the voice of the evil Boris Badenov in the "Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoons.
The trusted spokeswoman for General Mills (originally Washburn Crosby Co.) since 1921 has had seven makeovers since 1936. Her first portrait blended the features of several General Mills home economics staffers.
First appearing as a scowling white ogre in 1921, he went green in 1928. By 1946, he'd been transformed into a smiling, muscular giant. Little Sprout popped up in 1973.
In 1965, the American Dairy Association of Minnesota, now the Midwest Dairy Association, started the tradition of sculpting the likenesses of the State Fair's princesses in butter.
The University of Minnesota's mascot was adopted decades after an 1857 political cartoon satirized a proposed $5 million government investment for building western Minnesota railroads. The cartoon showed gophers with the heads of local politicians pulling a locomotive. The university's Gophers became Golden in the 1930s, when radio announcer Halsey Hall called the school's football teams so because of their gold uniforms.
Reddy was used as a corporate symbol by more than 200 utilities around the world, including NSP from 1942 to 1973. NSP bought exclusive rights to Reddy in 1998.
The 12-story tall Weatherball sat atop the Northwestern National Bank building from 1949 until the Thanksgiving Day fire destroyed the building in 1982.
The gangly and goofy-looking bear and his animal pals starred in Hamm's Beer commercials from 1953 to 1969.
The Indian maiden trademark for the butter business took hold because Minnesota and Wisconsin were the legendary lands of Hiawatha. The original design (1924) was updated in 1939 and has had only minor changes since.
Monuments to the legendary lumberjack are found throughout northern Minnesota, but the most memorable ones are in Bemidji and Brainerd.
Hormel Foods introduced SPiced hAM (ergo Spam) canned luncheon meat in 1937.
The controversial Minnesota artifact was discovered in a farm field near Alexandria in 1898. Now considered by most to be a hoax, advocates insist that it proves Nordic explorers were there in 1362.
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen created the signature sculpture of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which opened in 1988.
The quintessential State Fair food was introduced to Minnesotans in 1947.
The chariot drawn by four horses: the chariot represents the state; two female figures portray Minnesota agriculture and industry, and the four horses represent earth, fire, water and wind.
The state motto "L'Etoile du Nord" (Star of the North) was chosen by the first governor, Henry Sibley.
The serendipitous invention by two 3M scientists, Spencer Silver and Art Fry, changed the way we all communicate.
During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of Minnesota children had their lunch with Casey, a local television star.
Congress granted Minnesota $75,000 to build the lighthouse after a storm in November 1905 battered 29 ships along Lake Superior's shoreline. The Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 1969 and gave it to Minnesota.
After a vote by schoolchildren and sportsmen's groups and a letter-writing campaign, the Minnesota Legislature in 1961 made the common loon the official state bird.
Mary Tyler Moore's plucky single gal worked on the news show of a fictional Minneapolis TV station in the 1970s sitcom. There is now a statue of her on the Nicollet Mall.
In the 1800s, the falls were a major tourist attraction, due in part to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Song of Hiawatha," published in 1855.
Minnesota's first state park, founded in 1891, includes more than 100 lakes and the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Minnesotans' Norwegian ancestors have been eating lutefisk -- literally, "lye fish" -- since the Middle Ages. It is cod that's been dried, soaked in lye and boiled.
Popular today as collectibles, Red Wing pottery was once was part of Minnesotans' everyday lives and was the nation's largest pottery-making enterprise.