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7 Pieces Of History Near Kimball, MN

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Kimball, Minnesota, may be a small town with a population of just over 700 people, but it has been witness to many historical events throughout its history. From groundbreaking inventions to infamous tragedies, here are seven significant historical events that have taken place near Kimball, MN.

1. The Great Hinckley Fire of 1894:
On September 1, 1894, a massive wildfire erupted in Hinckley, Minnesota, about 80 miles north of Kimball. The fire burned a swathe of land that was 35 miles long and 10 miles wide, destroying six towns and killing more than 400 people. Kimball residents felt the impact of the fire, with smoke and ash reaching the town.

2. The First Minnesota State Fair:
The Minnesota State Fair, one of the largest state fairs in the United States, held its inaugural event in 1859, just a few years after Minnesota's statehood. The fair was originally held in Minneapolis, but it has been held at its current location in St. Paul since 1885, approximately 60 miles from Kimball.

3. The Invention of Rollerblades:
In 1980, Scott Olson and Brennan Olson, two brothers from Bloomington, Minnesota, invented rollerblades, which revolutionized the roller-skating industry. The Olsons founded Rollerblade, Inc., and their company is still headquartered in Eagan, about 60 miles east of Kimball.

4. The Sinking of the USS Minneapolis:
During World War II, the USS Minneapolis (CA-36) played a crucial role in numerous battles, including the Battle of Midway. However, on July 30, 1943, the ship was struck by two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine, sinking in less than six minutes. Over 100 crew members were killed, and many more were injured. Kimball residents may have known some of the sailors on board, as the ship was built in their state.

5. The Northfield Bank Robbery:
On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota, about 60 miles northeast of Kimball. The townspeople, led by the local mill owner, armed themselves and fought back, killing two of the robbers and wounding many others. The incident is often referred to as "the first defeat of the Jesse James gang."

6. The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862:
In 1862, tensions between the Sioux Indians and white settlers in Minnesota escalated to a bloody conflict that lasted for several months. The uprising, which began in August of that year, resulted in hundreds of deaths on both sides and led to the largest mass execution in US history, with 38 Sioux men being hanged in Mankato, Minnesota. Kimball, which was founded six years later in 1868, may have been affected by the aftermath of the conflict.

7. The Crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 421:
On January 12, 1963, Northwest Airlines Flight 421 crashed shortly after taking off from the Twin Cities airport (now Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport), killing all 7 crew members and 32 passengers on board. The cause of the crash was attributed to a combination of crew error and icy conditions. Kimball would have been only 50 miles away from the crash site.

Overall, Kimball has been near the scene of many significant historical events over the years, and its residents have been impacted in different ways by these diverse events. Some events, like the Minneapolis fire and the Northfield bank robbery, were the result of human actions, while others, like the sinking of the USS Minneapolis or the invention of the rollerblades, were the result of transformative innovations. Nevertheless, they all serve as reminders of our shared history and the changes that have occurred both within and beyond the borders of small towns like Kimball, MN.
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