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At the Minnesota History Center

What do Prince, the GPS system, Hubert H. Humphrey and the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team have in common? They all changed Minnesota.

The new exhibit “MN150,” presented by Best Buy and opening Oct. 13 at the Minnesota History Center, launches the 2008 celebration of 150 years of Minnesota statehood by exploring changes – changes wrought by powerful people and by ordinary citizens, sparked by something as simple as a hockey game or as broad as a new political party – changes ranging from those that have shaken up Minnesota to those that have rocked the world. One hundred fifty people, places and things are presented and interpreted in the “MN150” exhibit, through a variety of public programs and on the web site.

The List

The exhibit was created from more than 2,700 nominations provided by Minnesotans living in every corner of the state, as well as across the globe. Society Director Nina Archabal describes it as “unprecedented in the degree of public participation.” Delighting in its homegrown nature, she asks, “Who better to tell us about Minnesota than the people who live here?”

A committee of Minnesota Historical Society staff, community members and subject experts selected the final list of 150, basing their choice on the compelling case made by the nominator as well as the potential for each topic to be developed into a successful exhibit component. Nominations included in the exhibit cover a wide range of categories, from sports events, to political figures and pop icons, to inventors and their inventions, to lasting examples of cultural traditions.

The Exhibit

Visitors will engage with the subjects through hands-on activities, multi-media presentations, artifacts, historical interpreters, music listening stations, web portals and a video station where guests can provide feedback to the exhibit. In addition, visitors can take an interactive quiz in an amphitheatre and program area within the exhibit and see just how gosh-darned Minnesota-smart they are.

Each subject will include a photo of the person who submitted the nomination and an excerpt from their argument. Visitors can find out more about the 150 subjects, as well as read nominations that weren’t selected for the exhibit, through the “MN150” wiki available in the gallery or via the web at beginning Oct. 13. The wiki invites visitors to post a comment or photo, to share a personal story or to update historical information. In addition, users can create their own list of people, places and things that helped change Minnesota.

The Book

“Minnesota 150: The People, Places and Things that Shape Our State” by exhibit developer Kate Roberts will be published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in October 2007. Through eye-catching illustrations and engaging stories by those with the winning nominations, Roberts showcases the individuals, events and inventions that have changed Minnesota.


Lead Gift

“MN150” is presented by Best Buy.

Best Buy

Major Gifts

  • 3M Foundation
  • F. R. Bigelow Foundation
  • Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation
  • The Saint Paul Foundation

Supporting Gifts

  • BNSF Foundation
  • The Elizabeth C. Quinlan Foundation
  • Hardenbergh Foundation

Media Partners

Star TribuneKARE-11

Sesquicentennial Commission

“MN150” is part of the 2008 celebration of “150 Years of Statehood,” led by the Minnesota Statehood Sesquicentennial Commission.