Best Ways To Learn About Presidential And American History In Minnesota

January 28, 2013 7:00 AM

We observe Presidents Day on the third Monday of February, but we can get in touch with our leaders in many ways on many different days. Get to know our founding fathers with a visit to these places throughout the state and beyond. For being such a young country, we sure have some exciting history.

(credit: Wikipedia)

(credit: Wikipedia)

President Abraham Lincoln

The Landing – Minnesota River Heritage Park
2187 Highway 101 E.
Shakopee, MN 55379
(763) 694-7784
Date: Feb. 16

There is something for everyone ages two and older at Presidents Day Family Fun. Just as our 16th president attended a one-room schoolhouse, so can you. Build a log cabin (kid-sized), make a stove-piped hat or make a hat styled after any other president or first lady. For recess, ride a kick sled, walk in snowshoes and enjoy a hot beverage. Park and enter at the west entrance. Reservations are required.

Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 259-3000
Dates: Now through Sept. 8

President Lincoln intervenes at the urging of missionary Henry Whipple and commutes the sentences of 264 Dakota people after a military court tried 303 men for raping and murdering civilians in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Nevertheless, Lincoln signs the order for hanging another 39 Dakota, giving Minnesota the dubious distinction of hosting the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Learn about all of this and more at “The US-Dakota War of 1862,” now showing at the Minnesota History Center.

Related: Best Ways To Celebrate Native American History

(credit: Wikipedia)

(credit: Wikipedia)

President Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
210 Parkside Drive
West Branch, IA 52358
(319) 643-5301
Date: Feb. 17

Take a quick trip down to West Branch, Iowa to get your fix of Herbert Hoover history. Former Director Timothy Walch will be speaking about the Hoover biography project and the book “The Life and Times of Herbert Hoover: Keeper of the Torch, 1933-1964,” by Gary Dean Best. The book will be available for purchase. Also featured will be impersonator Carl Christensen as Herbert Hoover.

(credit: CRAIG LASSIG/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: CRAIG LASSIG/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Walter F. Mondale

Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 259-3000

Walter Mondale served as vice president of the United States from 1977 to 1981 and was the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 1984. Mondale also held state and national positions such as Minnesota Attorney General from 1955 to 1965, U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1964 to 1976 and U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1993 to 1996. Historical documents from both Walter and Joan Mondale are stored at the Minnesota History Center and are available for public use. The Mondales continue to live in their home in Minneapolis.

The Governors of Minnesota

Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2881

Wandering through Cass Gilbert’s beautifully decorated hallways, majestic stairways and picturesque dome is inspiring enough. The guided tour through the legislative chambers brings one closer to where decisions are made and gives one a deeper appreciation of the art, architecture and history of the capitol. Past governors’ portraits are hung throughout the capitol and bring back memories of the history of our great state.

Related: Best Books About Minnesota

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at

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