Minnesota became the thirty-second state of the United States in 1858. Its name is derived from the Sioux word minisota, meaning sky-tinted waters. It was settled by the French looking for furs. Its nicknames are the North Star State and the Gopher State. Minnesota has over ten thousand lakes, and the Mesabi Range produces about 60 percent of the country’s iron ore. Children could learn more at: Minnesota.
Northwest Ordinance was created in 1787. It provided for the government of the territory north of the Ohio River. However, it was the foundation for all other American territorial governments. It established how the territory could eventually become a state, and it guaranteed basic freedoms for its inhabitants. States carved from the Northwest Territory include Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota. Idea: Older children could read a transcript of the document at: Northwest Ordinance. Children could find out how a territory became a state.