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All about Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the county seat of Hennepin County. The city is abundant in water, with thirteen lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls. Minneapolis has its origins in timber and as the flour milling capital of the world. It occupies both banks of the Mississippi River and adjoins Saint Paul, the state capital of Minnesota.
Prior to European settlement, the site of Minneapolis was inhabited by Dakota people. The settlement was founded along Saint Anthony Falls on a section of land north of Fort Snelling; its growth is attributed to its proximity to the fort and the falls providing power for industrial activity. As of 2021, the city has an estimated 425,336 inhabitants. It is the most populous city in the state and the 46th-most-populous city in the United States. Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the surrounding area are collectively known as the Twin Cities.
Minneapolis has one of the most extensive public park systems in the US; many of these parks are connected by the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Biking and walking trails, some of which follow abandoned railroad lines, run through many parts of the city; such as the Mill District in the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District, around the banks of Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska, and Lake Harriet, and by Minnehaha Falls. Minneapolis has cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. Minneapolis is the birthplace of General Mills, Pillsbury Company, and the Target Corporation. The city’s cultural offerings include the Guthrie Theater, the First Avenue nightclub, and four professional sports teams.
Most of the University of Minnesota‘s main campus, and several other post-secondary educational institutions are in Minneapolis. Part of the city is served by a light rail system.
Minneapolis has a mayor-council-government system. The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) has held a majority of council seats there for 50 years and Jacob Frey (DFL) has been mayor since 2018. In May 2020, Derek Chauvin, a White officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, murdered George Floyd, a Black man, and the resulting global protests put Minneapolis and racism at the center of national and international attention.
History of Minneapolis, MN
In 1886, when Martha Ripley founded Maternity Hospital for both married and unmarried mothers, Minneapolis made changes to rectify discrimination against unmarried women. Known initially as a kindly physician, mayor Doc Ames made his brother police chief, ran the city into corruption, and tried to leave town in 1902. Lincoln Steffens published Ames’s story in “The Shame of Minneapolis” in 1903. The gangster Kid Cann engaged in bribery and intimidation between the 1920s and the 1940s.
During the financial downturn of the Great Depression, the violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 led to laws acknowledging workers’ rights. Mayor Hubert Humphrey helped the city establish fair employment practices and by 1946, a human-relations council that interceded on behalf of minorities was established. In 1966 and 1967, years of significant turmoil across the US, suppressed anger among the Black population was released in two disturbances on Plymouth Avenue. A coalition reached a peaceful outcome but failed to solve Black poverty and unemployment; Charles Stenvig, a law-and-order candidate, became mayor. Minneapolis contended with White supremacy, participated in desegregation and engaged with the civil rights movement; in 1968, the American Indian Movement was founded in Minneapolis.
Between 1958 and 1963, as part of urban renewal in America, Minneapolis demolished roughly 40 percent of downtown, including the Gateway District and its significant architecture, such as the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but encouraged interest in historic preservation.
Geography and Demographics in Minneapolis, MN
The history and economic growth of Minneapolis are linked to water, the city’s defining physical characteristic. Long periods of glaciation and interglacial melt carved several riverbeds through what is now Minneapolis. During the last glacial period, around 10,000 years ago, ice buried in these ancient river channels melted, resulting in basins that filled with water to become the lakes of Minneapolis. Meltwater from Lake Agassiz fed the glacial River Warren, which created a large waterfall that eroded upriver past the confluence of the Mississippi River, where it left a 75-foot (23 m) drop in the Mississippi. This site is located in what is now downtown Saint Paul. The new waterfall, later called Saint Anthony Falls, in turn eroded up the Mississippi about eight miles (13 km) to its present location, carving the Mississippi River gorge as it moved upstream. Minnehaha Falls also developed during this period via similar processes.
Minneapolis is sited above an artesian aquifer and on flat terrain. Minneapolis has a total area of 59 square miles (152.8 km2), six percent of which is covered by water. Water supply is managed by four watershed districts that correspond with the Mississippi and the city’s three creeks. The city has thirteen lakes, three large ponds, and five unnamed wetlands.
The population of Minneapolis grew until 1950, when the census peaked at 521,718—the only time it has exceeded a half million. The population then declined for decades; after World War II, people moved to the suburbs, and generally out of the Midwest.
In 2015, Gallup reported the Twin Cities had an estimated LGBT+ adult population of 3.6%, roughly the same as the national average, and had the 38th-highest number of LGBT+ residents of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the US. Human Rights Campaign gave Minneapolis its highest-possible score in 2019.