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Crazy Laws in Minnesota and Fun Facts

Updated on October 1, 2015

Crazy Laws in Minnesota and Fun Facts

Do you know about these crazy, weird laws in Minnesota about shirtless motorcyclists ... sleeping naked ... pesky mosquitoes ... bathtubs with feet ... greased pigs ... wearing a duck atop your head … and more? Seriously! What were these legislators thinking?

Uh, oh, I forgot my shirt.
Uh, oh, I forgot my shirt. | Source

Crazy Laws in the State of Minnesota

Men driving motorcycles must wear shirts.

Is that the ONLY requirement?

The land of 10,000 lakes declares mosquitoes a public nuisance.

It’s about time we let those pesky critters know exactly how we feel about them.

It is illegal to stand around any building without a good reason to be there.

If you must loiter on your feet, choose an alley or a street.

A person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his head.

I would write a comment but I am laughing too hard.

All bathtubs must have feet.


Catch me if you can.
Catch me if you can. | Source

No person shall operate, run or participate in a greased pig contest in which a pig, greased or oiled, is released and wherein the object is the capture of the pig …

... or a turkey scramble in which a chicken or turkey is released and wherein the object is the capture of the chicken or turkey. Any violation is a misdemeanor.

Takes all the fun out of life, doesn’t it?

It is illegal to sleep naked. And . . . Oral sex is prohibited.

See comment above!!!

I still have 3 lives to go.
I still have 3 lives to go. | Source

Crazy Laws in the Cities of Minnesota

In Cottage Grove – Airplanes may not be landed in city parks.

Can’t help but wonder . . . how many pilots were doing that?

Residents of even numbered addresses may not water their plants on odd-numbered days excluding the thirty first day where it applies.

I understand the first part but not the second part. Could you explain it to me?

In Hibbing – It shall be the duty of any policeman or any other officer to enforce the provisions of this Section, and if any cat is found running at large, or which is found in any street, alley or public place, it shall be the duty of any policeman or other officer of the city to kill such cat.

Quickly, we must alert the ASPCA about this barbaric law.

I'm waiting for a genie to bring me a Lamborghini.
I'm waiting for a genie to bring me a Lamborghini. | Source

In Minneapolis – Red cars may not drive down Lake Street.

This is outright discrimination.

People are forbidden from walking in and/or down alleyways, if you are not a property owner nor tenant.

Okay. That removes the option of loitering in an alley.

In Minnetonka – Driving a truck or other vehicle with dirty tires (from mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter, or other material) is considered a public nuisance.

Do not be a schmuck. Clean the tires on your truck.

In St. Cloud – Hamburgers may not be eaten on Sundays.

If the taste of a hamburger is what you seek, be sure to eat it on another day of the week.

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Minnesota

Until European settlement, Minnesota was inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe.

Many of the original European settlers immigrated from Scandinavia and Germany; the state remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture.

The name, Minnesota, comes from the Dakota word, ‘mini,’ for ‘water.’ Because of its large number of lakes, the state is known as the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes.’

Speaking of lakes, the state's nickname, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is no exaggeration; there are 11,842 lakes over 10 acres in size. The Minnesota portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres.

With all those lakes in Minnesota, you can imagine that some of them would have to be named the same. You would be correct. There are 201 Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, and 123 Rice Lakes in the state.

Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman 1858-1939
Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman 1858-1939 | Source

Charles Alexander Eastman was a Santee Dakota physician who founded 32 Native American chapters of the YMCA between 1894 and 1898. He was also a co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America.

Eastman was named Hakadah at his birth in Minnesota. His name meant ‘pitiful last’ in the Dakota language because his mother died following his birth.

Minnesota contains some of the oldest rocks found on earth. Gneisses are about 3.6 billion years old (80% as old as the planet).

The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet which is only 15 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior.

The state has the nation's largest population of timber wolves outside Alaska, and supports healthy populations of black bears, moose and gophers.

Minnehaha and Hiawatha statue in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
Minnehaha and Hiawatha statue in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis | Source

Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis became well-known in 1855 when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published ‘The Song of Hiawatha.’

His epic poem features Hiawatha, a Native American hero, who falls in love with Minnehaha who later dies during a severe winter.

John Beargrease of Beaver Bay, the son of a chief by the name of Makwabimidem (Beargrease), is best remembered as the winter mail carrier between Two Harbors and Grand Marais during the last two decades of the 19th century.

John used a row boat and a dog sled to deliver the mail.

Beaver Bay (population 181) is the home of the annual 411-mile John Beargrease Dog Sled Race between Duluth and Grand Portage.

Dr. William Worrall Mayo 1819-1911
Dr. William Worrall Mayo 1819-1911 | Source

The Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned hospital and medical research group based in Rochester which was founded by Dr. William Worrall Mayo in 1864.

It is the largest non-profit medical group in the world employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists, and 50,900 staff, and spends over $500 million a year on research.

The University of Minnesota Medical School (established in 1888) with campuses in Minneapolis and Duluth, is a high-rated teaching institution that has made a number of breakthroughs in treatment and bio-technology research.

Dr. Clarence Walton Lillehei, born in Minneapolis, participated in the world’s first successful open-heart operation at the University of Minnesota in 1944.

Dr. Robert A. Good, born in Crosby, led the team that performed the first successful human bone marrow transplant at the University of Minnesota in 1968.

Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant
Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant | Source
John Bergquist cabin
John Bergquist cabin | Source

Saint Paul, located along the banks of the Mississippi River, became the capital of the Territory of Minnesota in 1849, and then state capital in 1858.

The original name of St. Paul was Pig's Eye, named for the French-Canadian whiskey trader, Pierre ‘Pig's Eye’ Parrant, (blind in one eye) who established a popular tavern there.

Saint Paul is adjacent to Minneapolis; they are called the Twin Cities.

The oldest house in Moorhead still on its original site is the Bergquist Cabin, built in 1870 by the Swedish immigrant John Bergquist.

Hibbing is the birthplace of the American bus industry. Carl Eric Wickman and Andrew ‘Bus Andy’ Anderson opened the first bus line with one bus between the towns of Hibbing and Alice in 1914.

The bus line grew to become Greyhound Lines, Inc. the world’s largest bus company.

Their first customers were iron ore miners from Hibbing traveling to Alice – known for its saloons. Cost 15 cents each way.

At the edge of the town of Hibbing is the largest open-pit iron mine in the world.

Richard Warren Sears 1863-1914
Richard Warren Sears 1863-1914 | Source
Original 3M building now a museum
Original 3M building now a museum | Source

Richard Warren Sears, born in Stewartville, was the founder of Sears, Roebuck and Co. with his partner, Alvah Curtis Roebuck.

How did he get into retail? He was working as a railroad station agent in 1886 when a shipment of gold-filled pocket watches was refused by a local retailer. Sears purchased them and netted $5,000 within 6 months.

He moved to Minneapolis, hired Roebuck, a watch repairman, and founded the R.W. Sears Watch Co.

Walter H. Deubener from St. Paul, who owned the downtown S. S. Kresge grocery store, invented the grocery bag with handles in 1912 so his customers could more easily carry larger purchases. Eventually, he sold his store and went into the shopping bag business full time.

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (later known as the 3M Company) was founded in 1902 by five businessmen in Two Harbors. The company, currently in Maplewood, has a campus with over 50 buildings.

With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and produces more than 55,000 products.

Scotch Tape (what would we do without it?) was developed in 1925 by 3M employee, Richard G. Drew.

The building in which the company was founded is now a museum.

The first tape dispenser with a built-in cutting edge was invented in 1932 by John A. Borden, another 3M employee.

Green Giant, Blue Earth, MN
Green Giant, Blue Earth, MN | Source
Banana Wackies cereal
Banana Wackies cereal | Source

The Minnesota Valley Canning Company was founded in 1903 in Le Sueur. The brand, Green Giant, was first used in 1925. The company was acquired by General Mills in 2001.

In the city of Blue Earth stands a 55-foot, 4-ton fiberglass statue of the Jolly Green Giant unveiled in 1978 which attracts over 10,000 visitors a year.

Speaking of General Mills, headquartered in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, some of its best known brands include Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Totino’s, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Haagen-Dazs, Cheerios, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Wheaties and Lucky Charms as well as 89 other leading U.S. brands.

They once produced a cereal called Banana Wackies which was introduced and discontinued in the 1960s.

General Mills also introduced Bisquick, a pre-mixed baking product in 1930. One of their sales executives met an innovative dining car chef on a business train trip. The executive complimented the chef on his delicious fresh biscuits and the chef shared his own recipe.

Voila! Bisquick was born.

Water skiing is a sport where one or more persons wearing one or more skis are pulled behind a motor boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water.

Water skiing began in 1922 when Ralph Samuelson used two boards as skis and a clothesline as a tow rope on Lake Pepin in Lake City.

Samuelson was also the first ski racer, first to go over a jump ramp, first to slalom ski, and the first to present a water ski show.

Soft serve ice cream
Soft serve ice cream | Source

In 1938, J.F. ‘Grandpa’ McCullough and his son Alex co-invented soft serve ice cream, devising a new way to serve ice cream in the soft, creamy form that it takes before going into the deep freeze.

They opened the first Dairy Queen, often abbreviated DQ, in 1940. DQ is a chain of soft serve ice cream and fast food restaurants owned by International Dairy Queen, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

The company's corporate offices are located in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina.

Speaking of deep freeze, Polaris Industries of Roseau invented the snowmobile in 1954.

Tilt-A-Whirl | Source
Snickers bar
Snickers bar | Source

The Tilt-A-Whirl amusement ride was invented in 1926 by Herbert Sellner who first operated it at an amusement park in White Bear Lake.

Mars was founded by Franklin Clarence Mars in Minneapolis in 1923. The company is known for the confectionery items that it creates,such as Mars bars, Milky Ways, M&Ms, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix, and Skittles.

The original 3 Musketeers bar introduced in 1932 contained 3 pieces in one package – each with a different flavor nougat: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Cost – 5 cents.

Mars is still a family business owned by the Mars family.

The Minnesota State Fair, advertised as ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together,’ drew over 1.8 million visitors in 2014, setting a new attendance record. Various foods on a stick are available such as Pronto Pups, cheese curds and deep-fried Mars candy bars.

Spam museum
Spam museum | Source

Hormel Company of Austin marketed the first canned ham in 1926, and introduced Spam in 1937.

The company was founded as George A. Hormel & Company in 1891, and changed its name to Hormel Foods in 1993.

The SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota, was opened in 2001.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, opened in 1992, has a gross area of 4.8 million square feet, and receives 42 million visitors each year.

Seven Yankee Stadiums could fit inside.

Tonka Toy trucks
Tonka Toy trucks | Source
Lou T. Fisk statue
Lou T. Fisk statue | Source

Tonka is a toy company most known for its signature metal toy trucks, founded in Mound in 1946. The Dakota Sioux word, ‘tonka,’ means great or big.

H. David Dalquist and his brother, Mark, founded the cookware company, Nordic Ware, in St. Louis. In 1950, they designed a cast aluminum version of a Bundt pan used for baking a Bundt cake. More than 60 million Bundt pans have been sold by Nordic.

A giant 25-foot long fiberglass cod fish welcomes visitors to Madison, ‘the Lutefisk capital of the U.S.’ Lutefisk prepared from cod is somewhat notorious, even in Scandinavia, for its intense, offensive odor. But lutefisk prepared from pollock or haddock has almost no odor.

The statue is affectionately called Lou T. Fisk. Just sayin’.

The world's largest pelican stands at the base of the Mill Pond dam on the Pelican River, in downtown Pelican Rapids. The 15 1/2 feet tall concrete statue was built in 1957.

Twine ball, Darwin
Twine ball, Darwin | Source

Darwin is the home of a ball of twine rolled by Francis A. Johnson. It is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 17,400 pounds . Johnson began building the twine ball in March 1950, and wrapped four hours every day for 29 years. It is currently housed in an enclosed gazebo across from the town park on Main Street.

The town celebrates ‘Twine Ball Day’ on the second Saturday in August every year. ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic honored the ball in his 1989 song, ‘The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.’

Speaking of a ball, Minnesotan baseball commentator, Halsey Hall, was the first to say, 'Holy Cow,' during a television baseball broadcast.

Juicy Lucy hamburger
Juicy Lucy hamburger | Source
Paul Bunyan, Akeley
Paul Bunyan, Akeley | Source

There is an intense rivalry over who first made the Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy) which is, essentially, a cheese-stuffed burger.

Some say Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis opened in 1954 was first; others argue that it was the 5-8 Club. Both restaurants’ versions are delicious.

What was the origin of this tasty treat? A customer asked the cook to put two hamburger patties together and seal some cheese in the middle. When the customer bit into the sandwich, he was heard to exclaim, ‘That's one juicy Lucy!’

Do you remember reading about the Paul Bunyan statue in Ossineke, Michigan?

Well, Akeley (population 432) loves Paul, too, and is the home of the world's largest Paul Bunyan statue (25 feet tall) and has been celebrating ‘Paul Bunyan Day’ since 1955.

Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip, was born in Minneapolis.

Corn monument, Olivia
Corn monument, Olivia | Source
Bent Spoon with Cherry by Claes Oldenburg Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Bent Spoon with Cherry by Claes Oldenburg Minneapolis Sculpture Garden | Source

State mammal – the white-tailed deer has been proposed 8 times but not yet adopted.

Olivia has been calling itself the ‘Corn Capital of the World’ since 1973, when it erected its well-known 50-foot corn monument in the shape of an ear of corn.

Olivia is home to nine seed research facilities, and celebrates Corn Capital Days during the last weekend of July when activities include a parade, corn cob toss, and free corn feed.

Olivia is also the birthplace of Kathleen Windsor, the author of the racy (for its time) romantic novel, ‘Forever Amber.’ (3 million copies of the book were sold in 1944.)

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country, spanning 11 acres with 40 permanent art installations.

State Symbols

State flower – Pink and white Lady’s Slipper

State tree – Red or Norway pine

State bird – Loon

State butterfly – Monarch

State fish – Walleye

State drink – Milk

State fruit – Honeycrisp apple

State gemstone – Lake Superior agate

State grain – Wild rice

State motto – L’etoile du Nord (translation: ‘Star of the North’)

State muffin – Blueberry muffin

State mushroom – Morel or sponge mushroom

State song – ‘Hail, Minnesota’

State sport – Ice hockey

Fast Fun Facts

The Mary Tyler Moore 8-foot tall bronze statue on Nicollet Avenue marks the spot where Mary throws her hat in the air during the TV show’s iconic opening sequence.

Target Corporation, the second-largest discount retailer in the U.S. (behind Walmart), is headquartered in Minneapolis.

The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in Chanhassen is the largest dinner theatre in the U.S. The name originates from the Dakota word, ‘chanhasen,’ meaning ‘sugar-maple tree.’

Minneapolis’ famed Skyway System connects buildings in 69 city blocks (over 11 miles) of downtown making it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside.

Geek Squad, a subsidiary of Best Buy, founded in 1994 is headquartered in Richfield.

Minnetonka is home to Cargill (agricultural commodities), the country's largest privately owned company, founded in 1865. 2014 revenue was $134.9 billion.

Minnetonka is also home to United Health Group (managed health care), the state's largest publicly owned company, founded in 1977. 2015 revenue was $141.5 billion.

The Honeycrisp apple was developed at the University of Minnesota in 1960.

The Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown, Minneapolis occupies the building where legendary musician Bob Dylan lived.

True story

A 71-year old Minneapolis City Council candidate was indicted by a grand jury in 1986 for serving Twinkies and Ho Ho’s – $31 worth – to elderly voters in order to gain votes. He was violating an 1893 law which carried a $700 fine and 90-day jail sentence. After the scandal, a new fair campaign law was enacted, now commonly known as the ‘Twinkie Law.’

The judge dismissed the case.

Who brought the charge against him? His opponent for the council seat!

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

Comments for Crazy Laws in Minnesota and Fun Facts

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Say Yes. Thanks for the addendum re Laura Ingalls Wilder. I do appreciate your visit.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Mosquitoes are a public nuisance? Laura Ingalls Wilder's family would have loved to hear about that one! What about the grasshopper plague they endured when they lived there?

      (Walnut Grove, the setting for "Little House on the Prairie", is located in Minnesota).

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Alicia, for your steady attendance and enjoying this crazy laws series. I especially appreciate your kind remarks about my research knowing that when it comes to the subject of research, you are most definitely a clone of Edison and Curie.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoyed reading this crazy law hub, as I always do. I found the facts especially interesting in this installment of your series. Thanks for all the great research that you do.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      I agree, Larry, guess those legislators just ran out of crazy ideas for laws that week. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Boy howdy, mosquitoes are a public nuisance! Don't know what it serves to declare this in an official document:-)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Now that's a creative solution, Mary, and with all that water and lakes you may have found the answer. Those laws were just, you'll pardon the expression, 'wet' dreams.

      Delighted that these crazy laws and illustrious information entertained you and thank you for your sublime comments. "Perfect cocktail of success'? Love it!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      As I was reading the crazy laws I thought maybe all the lakes water logged the elders brains!

      I must say though, the great accomplishments that came from Minnesota certainly offset the crazy people who made those laws. I' m laughing too hard to comment on any one in particular. Thank you for bringing us entertainment, your touch of humor, and so many facts...all mixed to make a perfect cocktail of success.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      That looks like the right answer, Ruby. Only some kind of nut or disturbed person would want to wear a duck on his or her head, state lines or not? You are so right about the trivia. I'm learning more of it than I ever dreamed existed.

      I loved the Mary Tyler Moore TV show, too. Love your line, m'dear, about the Twinkie law and dirty politics. (laughing)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      You got me with that one, bp. Maybe they have a Department devoted to Discovering the Rational of Loitering Citizens ... filled with state government employees who can never be fired, only transferred. Just like in D.C.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Don't feel badly about being confused by these crazy laws, Bill - many of them just do not make sense today ... if they ever did. Thanks for the visit and the kind words ... as always. Have a marvelous weekend.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Overwhelming with information, dear Jodah, is one of my favorite pastimes. Thank you for your sublime appreciation. If I can discover how that particular crazy law you mentioned is monitored, you will be the first to know. Promise! :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Who would want to cross state lines with a duck atop his head? Answer, A nut. This really is an amazing hub. I learned so much about Minnesota. BTW I bet you would be great at trivia. You mentioned The Mary Tyler Moore which was a favorite of mine. I liked the story about the Twinkie Law. Politics can be dirty. Hee.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      3 years ago

      Who decides what's a good reason to stand around a building?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Why not just say it's illegal to have a greased pig contest? I'm a bit confused by the logic of that particular law, but then I'm often confused so what's a guy to do? :) Great fun as always!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow drbj, I about am overwhelmed by the information you provided about Minnesota in this hub (of which I knew nothing). As for the laws, well they were just to crazy to comment on. Just wondering how they police the law about "no oral sex"? Very interesting and fun. Thanks for increasing my knowledge.


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