The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

1986 Minnesotan of the Year

Russell Fridley 


At the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers, Russell Fridley was given the Organization’s  “ Minnesotan of the Year”  Award in honor of his impressive list of contributions to the preservation of history including historical sites and historical items in Minnesota and nationwide.


Russell Fridley has been Director of the Minnesota Historical Society since 1955 and in that capacity has guided it to its present prominence and in addition has aided local historical societies throughout Minnesota.  He has served as chairman of the Minnesota Humanities Commission and the Organization of State-Based Programs in Humanities.  He has served on the Governing Board of the Quetico-Superior Foundation since 1965 and as a member of the Council for the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota since 1978 and on the Board of Trustees of the Charles A. Lindbergh Fund.  He is also a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service.


Director Fridley is the author of a number of works on history, editor of a number of works and the author of more than 50 articles.


Our congratulations to Director Fridley for this well-deserved honor.

Minnesotan of the Year

Previous Award Recipients