The first successful open-heart surgery was performed in 1952 at the University of Minnesota by Dr. C. Walton Lillehei.
Blue Earth County, located in southern Minnesota, has a fascinating history that spans centuries. The area was originally home to the Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who inhabited the region for thousands of years. European settlers began arriving in the early 19th century, and the county was officially established in 1853.

One significant event in Blue Earth County's history was the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Tensions between the Dakota people and settlers led to a conflict, resulting in the execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, the county seat. This remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The aftermath of the war brought about significant changes in the region, including the forced removal of the Dakota people from the area.

During the late 19th century, Blue Earth County experienced rapid growth and development. The introduction of the railroad in the 1860s allowed for increased transportation and economic opportunities. Agriculture became a prominent industry, with crops such as corn, wheat, and oats thriving in the fertile land. Numerous small towns and villages grew, contributing to the county's growth and prosperity.

In the 20th century, Blue Earth County continued to thrive and adapt to changing times. Advances in technology and transportation further bolstered its economy. The county is home to Minnesota State University, which was established in Mankato in 1868 and has been a major influence on the region. Today, Blue Earth County is a vibrant and diverse community, known for its natural beauty, historical significance, and strong sense of community.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Blue Earth County, Minnesota.

  • 1853: Blue Earth County is established as one of the original nine counties in Minnesota.
  • 1862: The Sioux Uprising, also known as the Dakota War of 1862, impacts the area and leads to conflict between settlers and Native Americans.
  • 1868: The city of Mankato is incorporated, becoming the county seat of Blue Earth County.
  • 1871: The first railroad reaches Mankato, greatly improving transportation and connecting the county to the rest of the region.
  • 1888: Blue Earth County Courthouse, now known as the Historic Courthouse, is constructed in Mankato.
  • 1948: The Gage Towers, a prominent landmark in Mankato, are built as the tallest buildings in southern Minnesota.
  • 1965: The Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School is established in Nicollet, providing a faith-based education to students.
  • 1996: The Blue Earth County Historical Society is formed to preserve and educate about the county's history.
  • 2010: The Blue Earth County Library undergoes renovations, modernizing the facility and expanding its resources.
  • 2018: The Greater Mankato Diversity Council is established to promote inclusivity and cultural understanding in the community.