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Minnesota (/ˌmɪnɪˈstə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has many lakes, and is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 55% of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the "Twin Cities"). This area has the largest concentration of transportation, business, industry, education, and government in the state. Urban centers in "Greater Minnesota" include Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester and St. Cloud.

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Hennepin County Minnesota Incorporated and Unincorporated areas St. Louis Park Highlighted.svg
St. Louis Park is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota and a first ring-suburb immediately west of Minneapolis. Its neighboring cities include Edina, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Hopkins and Minneapolis. It is the birthplace and childhood home of movie directors Joel and Ethan Coen, singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, author/satirist Al Franken, songwriter Dan Israel, guitarist Sharon Isbin, writer Pete Hautman, baseball announcer Halsey Hall, and football coach Marc Trestman. The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, which has a major collection of antique radio and television equipment, is also in the city. Items range from radios produced by local manufacturers to the Vitaphone system used to cut discs carrying audio for the first "talkie", The Jazz Singer. (Full article)
Photo: William Wesen. Map: User:Arkyan
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Watkins c. 1911

Joseph Ray Watkins (August 21, 1840 – December 21, 1911) was an American entrepreneur and founder of Watkins Incorporated with his homemade medical products – liniment, extracts, and salves. He offered the United States's first money back guarantee for his products and is credited as the founder of the direct sales industry. Watkins started to experiment with making Red Liniment at his home in Plainview, Minnesota, by 1868. He personally bottled the home-made medicine of Asian camphor and red pepper extract. Watkins sold his product directly to the local farmers and villagers, being credited as the founder of the direct sales industry. Watkins at first pushed a cart as a one-man operation. Later he peddled his business with a horse and buggy sales wagon filled with products, developing a 100-mile (160 km) sales territory around his hometown. The direct door-to-door business was so successful that he brought in other wagon salesmen who sold throughout Minnesota and eventually to other states. (Full article)

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October in the history of Minnesota

The Minnesota Central, an early predecessor of the Milwaukee Road, built a rail line from Minneapolis to Fort Snelling in 1865. The railroad gradually extended to Faribault, Owatonna, and Austin. It crossed the Iowa border and met up with the McGregor & Western line. This connection gave Minneapolis rail service to Milwaukee via Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, with through service beginning on October 14, 1867. (Full article)

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