This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: July 20

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1837

Bagone-giizhig (Hole-in-the-Day the Younger), Flat Mouth, Lawrence Taliaferro, Henry H. Sibley, Wisconsin governor Henry Dodge, and others meet at Fort Snelling to negotiate the sale of Ojibwe lands east of the Mississippi River. About 1,400 Ojibwe camp near the fort during negotiations. In the treaty, signed on July 29, the Ojibwe agree to sell the land to the federal government for $215,000. This treaty is notable for two reasons: it marked the first opening of Minnesota land to white settler-colonists, and it allowed the Ojibwe to retain their rights to hunt, fish, and gather foods in the ceded lands. The fishing clause would lead to a lengthy legal dispute in the 1990s.

1858

Polk County is established and named for James K. Polk, who was president when Congress authorized creation of Minnesota Territory.

1907

The Western Federation of Miners calls a strike on the Mesabi Iron Range. Two hundred union men had been laid off from Mountain Iron Mine, owned by the Oliver Mining Company, a subsidiary of US Steel. Although layoffs on the range were common, at issue was recognition of the union, which was threatened by the discharge of only union workers. Within two months a large number of imported scabs undermine the union's efforts and the strike is broken.

1934

Two people are killed and sixty-seven are injured in a clash between strikers and police during a truckers' strike in Minneapolis. After federal mediation fails, Governor Floyd B. Olson declares the city under martial law, and the National Guard takes control of the streets.

1940

Minneapolis holds its first Aquatennial, a festival celebrating Minnesota's summers.