Rochester, Minnesota is a city with a rich history that spans several centuries. From the arrival of European settlers to the development of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, Rochester has seen no shortage of significant events. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Rochester:
1. Treaty of Traverse des Sioux (1851) - The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed on July 23rd, 1851, near present-day St. Peter, MN, about 70 miles northwest of Rochester. The treaty was between the United States government and several Dakota Indian tribes, and it forced the Dakota to surrender their lands in exchange for reservations and annuities.
2. Graham Park Raceway (1940-1988) - Located just a short drive from downtown Rochester, the Graham Park Raceway was a quarter-mile dirt oval that hosted countless races over its 48-year existence. The track closed in 1988 but remains a beloved part of Rochester's sports history.
3. Rochester Tornadoes (1883) - On August 21st, 1883, a devastating tornado tore through Rochester, killing 37 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. The community rebuilt, and today, Rochester stands as a shining example of resilience in the face of natural disasters.
4. Construction of St. Marys Hospital (1889-1912) - In 1889, Dr. William W. Mayo and his sons began construction on a new hospital on the outskirts of Rochester. St. Marys Hospital would grow to become part of the Mayo Clinic, one of the most renowned medical institutions in the world.
5. First Open-Heart Surgery at Mayo Clinic (1953) - Dr. John Kirklin performed the first successful open-heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic on September 2nd, 1953. The operation was a seminal moment in medical history and paved the way for countless life-saving procedures.
6. Formation of IBM Rochester (1956) - IBM opened a manufacturing plant in Rochester in 1956, which became the largest IBM manufacturing and development facility outside of headquarters in New York. The plant employed thousands of people in the area and played a significant role in the city's growth and development.
7. Flood of 1978 - In September 1978, heavy rains caused the Zumbro River to overflow its banks, flooding large parts of Rochester. The flood caused much destruction and led to significant efforts to address the city's stormwater management systems, including the construction of the Silver Lake Reservoir.
In conclusion, Rochester, MN, has a rich history that spans centuries, and its significance extends beyond its borders. From its Native American roots to the founding of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester has played an essential role in Minnesota's history, and its historical events are worth learning and experiencing.
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