Minnesota State Capitol, St Paul – 21 AUG 2012

The Minnesota State Capitol building, located in St. Paul, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and celebrated its centennial in 2005.
Parking across the street, Tinky Winky first found statues of Charles Lindbergh, Jr. and Hubert Humphrey:
The famous aviator was born in Detroit, MI but spent his childhood in Little Falls, MN. His father (a Swedish immigrant) was A US Congressman from MN (1907-1917).
Hubert Humphrey, Jr. served twice as a US Senator from MN, was the 38th Vice President of the United States, and the 1968 Democratic presidential nominee.
In front of the capitol building is a memorial to Knute Nelson:
He was wounded during the Civil War and was held as a prisoner of war. Surviving either one of those incidents is enough to make him remarkable; yet, he went on to be the first Norwegian immigrant to serve in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate.
Considered one of America’s grandest and most beautiful public buildings since it was built. Every kid who grew up in MN can remember their school field trip to the State Capitol building.
The Minnesota Historical Society is responsible for the Capitol’s furnishings and artwork, and it oversees the preservation work, leads tours of the building and provides special events and educational programs. 
In Latin, Quadriga means a two-wheeled chariot drawn by four horses. The two women symbolize Agriculture and Industry, while the horses they lead represent the forces of nature (Earth, Wind, Fire and Water). It is gilded with real gold leaf over copper.
In today’s dollars the land, building, interior decorations and furnishings would cost $90 million went it was created.
View of St. Paul Cathedral
St. Paul was originally names Pig’s Eye for the French-Canadian whiskey trader Pierre Parrant.
The outside of the dome has a white Georgia marble roof, the inside has a blue ceiling. One of the world’s largest self-supporting marble domes, the very tip-top has a lantern that is brightly lighted at night.
The letter “M” is used as decoration everywhere. The loops and curved shape make this metal “M” a decoration called a cipher.
This carved angel was created in the 1970s to replace the worn original angel, it is a symbol of protection.
MN is called the Gopher State of which there is an abundance of the striped-rodent. 
When I was a kid my older brother and I would trap gophers because we could turn in two hind legs for a bounty of 25 cents. The bounty now is anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00. 
The license plates read “Land of 10,000 Lakes” yet there are 11,842 lakes that are 10 acres or larger.  I once read there are over 20,000 lakes if you don’t include man-made lakes. When I told a friend this, he said “Why would they ever need to make a lake, the state feels like a sauna.” 
The Griffin is a mythical animal that has the head, wings and claws of an eagle and the body of a lion. They symbolize guarding or watching. This bench is older than the Capitol and was a gift from one of the men who helped build the Capitol.
Motto: L’Etoile du nord (The Star of the North). The star symbol is used throughout the capitol as MN was the furthest point north in the United States until Alaska became a state.
The eight-pointed star in the rotunda floor is made of brass surrounded by a larger star of red African marble. 
The lowest point in the state is Lake Superior (602 feet) and the highest is Eagle Mountain (2,301 feet).
MN is very proud of its role in the Civil War. Our guide said if you ever visit Gettysburg and tell them you are from MN, your 20 minute tour will turn into 2 hours.  The 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry has three monuments at Gettysburg. They performed one of the most critical actions of the battle, incurring heavy loses. Over their two day involvement, the total killed and wounded in battle was 232 out of 330.
House of Representatives
32nd State to enter the Union on May 11, 1858. The state tree is the Norway pine.
Minnesota is Dakota for “cloudy water” or “sky water”. It is the 12th biggest state in the Union and has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. 
There are several stories in paintings all around the building…this one is to remind them to make wise decisions in a timely manner.
Senate Cambers
The state insect is the Monarch butterfly, state grain is wild rice and the state gemstone is Lake Superior Agate.
The state bird is the Common loon and the state fish is the Walleye. The state flower is the pink and white lady’s-Slipper.
The chief river of the largest river system in North America begins in Itasca State Park. I remember as a child the thrill of being able to walk across the mighty Mississippi (Ojibwe for river).
International Falls holds the record for the coldest city, with a mean temperature of 36.4 degrees F.
Mall of America (located next to MSP airport) is the size of 78 football fields (9.5 million sq ft).
Vikings landed in Minnesota in 1362, as document on the Kensington Rune stone. Debated since its discovery in 1898, modern forensic tools have recently proven it to be authentic…which mean Norwegians in Minnesota not Italians in Massachusetts discovered the New World.