October 14, 1946

After the war of 1812, the American government took physical possession of the northwest frontier by establishing a chain of Indian agencies and supporting forts from Lake Michigan to the Missouri River. These outposts denied non-citizens commercial use of American rivers. In 1819, the 5th Regiment of Infantry arrived at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers to build this northwest link. Fort Snelling was completed in 1825. For almost 30 years, Fort Snelling was the hub of the Upper Mississippi and a meeting place for diverse cultures. Dakota and Ojibwe gathered at the fort to trade, debate government policy, and to perform their dances and sports.
By 1851, treaties had opened much of the new territory of Minnesota. Newer forts Ridgely, Ripley, and Abercrombie took over frontier duties while Fort Snelling was demoted to a supply depot. In 1858, Fort Snelling was sold to a land developer and was made a town site. Plans for the city of Fort Snelling were abandoned, however, with the outbreak of the Civil War.

Between 1880 and 1900, new barracks, officers’ quarters, and storehouses were built at the post while decayed buildings of the old fort were demolished. During World War II, Fort Snelling processed over 300,000 inductees and trained soldiers in duties from operating railroads to speaking Japanese. At war’s end, Fort Snelling finally closed.

In 1960, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Fort Snelling as the state’s first historic landmark. Since then, both public and private funds have been used to rebuild the fort. Today, The amazing Fort Snelling History Center provides orientation films and different exhibits, while Fort Snelling State Park offers dozens of hiking trails and beautiful scenery.

Thanks to Mr. Gunderson’s 6th grade class at Virginia-Roosevelt Elementary School for the research on October’s Day in History.

Thanks also to Minnesota’s Learn and Serve America Service Learning Program for their help.

Explore posts in the same categories: Day in History

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