Growing up, President’s Day always meant one thing to me: no school. Now that I have a few more years under my belt, I’ve gained a greater understanding, and deeper fascination with, those who actually inspired the holiday. That’s why this President’s Day, whether you’re a history buff or novice, I would suggest heading over to the Minnesota State Capitol for History Matters Day.
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society
As a part of the event, visitors will embark on a tour of the Capitol, learning about the building’s history, art and architecture, seeing government chambers and, weather permitting, walk up to roof to see the majestic quadriga (golden horses). Even if you aren’t a history aficionado, you’ll still be able to enjoy the architectural beauty of the building, which has held a spot on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. Visitors will also have the chance to view items from the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections, meet with legislators, attend an information fair, and for kids, participate in crafts. All events are free, as well as parking at the Minnesota History Center where a shuttle (running from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.) will take you over to the Capitol.
If you can’t make it there on Monday, tours are offered regularly (with $5 suggested donation), as well as periodic themed tours.
As long as you’re parked at the history center, you might as well take a walk around and learn about aspects of Minnesota’s history that extend outside of the government. At The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 exhibit you can learn about one of the darkest chapters in Minnesota’s history, or at Minnesota’s Greatest Generation, take a look into the lives of those who lived through the Great Depression, WWII and the post-war boom. Find out about the “wow” moments that shaped the state in Then Now Wow, the largest exhibition from the Minnesota Historical Society, or find out more about our state’s role in the divide between the North and the South in Minnesota and the Civil War.
History Matters Day: Feb. 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, 651-296-2881.