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5 Fun Facts About October 19 In Minnesota History

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1. On October 19, 1918, the deadliest day of the Spanish Flu pandemic in Minnesota occurred, with 271 deaths reported. This brought the total number of pandemic-related deaths in the state to over 7,000.

2. On October 19, 1943, the first Native American to receive the Medal of Honor in World War II, Private First Class Charles George, was born in the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina. He was posthumously awarded the medal for his bravery in combat in Korea.

3. On October 19, 1951, the Minneapolis Lakers played their first game at the newly built Minneapolis Auditorium. The Lakers, led by future Hall of Famers George Mikan and Jim Pollard, won the game against the Fort Wayne Pistons 71-63.

4. On October 19, 1979, the John A. Blatnik Bridge, which spans the Saint Louis Bay between Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin, officially opened to traffic. The bridge is named after former U.S. Representative John Blatnik, who represented Minnesota's 8th congressional district for 22 years.

5. On October 19, 2017, the Minnesota Lynx defeated the Los Angeles Sparks 85-76 to win their fourth WNBA championship. Maya Moore was named the Finals MVP, and the team celebrated their victory with a parade through downtown Minneapolis a few days later.
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