The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

Previous Recipients

2009 Scholarship Award Recipient

Travis J. Byrne


Question: Why a Minnesota Sesquicentennial?


I have lived in Minnesota my whole life. That’s only 18 years, but that is long enough to know that the state I live in has a rich history. Since Minnesota was founded 150 years ago, we have a long way to go. We have had only thirty-seven different governors. We had governors who had counties and schools named after them, all the way to former wrestler turned governor, Jesse Ventura.


I was born and raised in St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota. As a kid, my family went on a lot of camping trips around the state, so I saw at a young age, what a beautiful state Minnesota is. I plan on living here my whole life, and some day taking my kids camping around the state so they can see what a great place it is too. Then you have the Minnesota State Fair. It’s that time of year when millions of Minnesotans come together and celebrate being a Minnesotan, that’s why they call it the “Great Minnesota Get-Together”.


The state of Minnesota is an amazing place. It’s one of the safest and healthiest states in the country, not to mention one of the smartest. It’s important to celebrate our statehood, and our sesquicentennial, because 150 years is just the beginning. Minnesota has gone through a lot, but it still has a long way to go. I bet that in 150 years they will celebrate a Minnesota State Tercentennial and look back on 300 years of history. I don’t think very many people know very much about the history of Minnesota. I think it’s important that people learn about the history of the state, and try to make today into a rich history for tomorrow.


One hundred and fifty years is a long time and it is only the beginning. I am proud to say that I’m a Minnesotan. I would tell people that don’t live here that they should travel here and learn more about the history of the state. You can visit the cities or head to one of the states 72 state parks. I know I plan to see more of the state and learn more about early settlers and how the state came to be what it is today. I know on May 11, 2008 I am going to think about Minnesota’s birthday and look back on its past and look forward at the future.


So, overall Minnesota is a great state, with great people. I think that we need a Minnesota State Sesquicentennial so that everyone can celebrate the great state that we live in.