Events of the Minnesota Historical Society
Updated: 17 hours 7 min ago
Join naturalist Scott Kudelka for a program about how the Minnesota River formed, early explorers, the diversity of wildlife and recent efforts to improve water quality. The Minnesota River flows almost 320 miles from its source at Big Stone Lake to the confluence with the Mississippi River, cutting through the heart of southern Minnesota. Rivers provide habitat for wildlife, food and water for local communities and recreational opportunities including paddling and fishing.
Gather at Fort Ridgely for a screening of the documentary film "Dakota 38," by Smooth Feather productions. The film shows Jim Miller and a group of riders as they retrace the 330 mile route from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. This is a story of their journey, the blizzards they endured, the Native and Non-Native communities that housed and fed them along the way and the dark history they are healing from.
Independent historian John LaBatte will examine the causes of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, drawing on personal stories from his Dakota and settler ancestors. Then LaBatte will lead a tour of the parade grounds, where visitors will meet up with the New Ulm Battery as they demonstrate canon fire. The Battery will demonstrate the use of black powder and talk about life for the soldiers during the war. Dan Cochran will demonstrate and sell his handmade leather work.
Visit Fort Ridgely for a day of games and crafts. Visitors can play games on the parade grounds and create crafts inside the commissary building. Games for children include field ball, stilts and graces. Crafts include making a hanky doll or a catapult.
Independent historian Curtis Dahlin will discuss the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and the roles played by Fort Ridgely and St. Peter. Curtis Dahlin grew up on a farm near Sisseton, S.D., on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Indian Reservation. He has spent decades researching the history of the Minnesota River Valley.
Join author William Lass as he talks about his new book, "Shaping the North Star State: A History of Minnesotas Boundaries." Lass is professor emeritus of history at Minnesota State University-Mankato and a recipient of the first Lifetime Service Award at the Northern Plains History Conference.
Join independent historian Vickie Wendel as she brings to life experiences from the Civil War. Dressed in 1860s clothing, Wendel will share the stories of the men who fought and the women who stayed at home. Guests will be able to taste the staple food of marching armies.
Join naturalist Scott Kudelka for a program on prairie grasses. Learn how the tall grass prairie dominated the landscape throughout the Minnesota River Basin before European-American settlers arrived. Join a hike through a restored prairie to learn how the grasses benefit the environment, how people and animals have used the grasses, and which animals make their home on the prairie.
Join Company B for a drill weekend as soldiers demonstrate what life was like at the Fort during the 1860s. The morning begins with a bugler calling reverie, then watch as soldiers drill on the parade ground, explore a recruitment tent, and much more. Dan Cochran will demonstrate his handmade leather work including saddles and wallets. Items will be for sale.
Join Dean Urdahl, Minnesota politician, member of the House of Representatives and retired history teacher, for a discussion based on his latest books. Urdahl has written about the Minnesota Twins, famous Minnesotans and most recently, historical fiction based in Minnesota during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.