Tag Archives: US Dakota War

Minnesota Nice


I am not sure if I am naive, or if I try to stay ignorant, but I do not see a reason for people to lie. And if one must lie to cover something else then I feel obligated to thank them for not disturbing my inner piece. There is already so much going on and I don’t have nor want the time to argue or do research on dissecting a statement.

The first critical thinking class I took was my senior year of high school. While I did not fully understand this concept at the time, I have learned that college thrives off this way of thinking; college’s (especially English professors) onanism on people who don’t take something at face value.

Which is why is should come to no surprise that the state that refers to them as nice (“nice”) was once the smartest state in the United States. What we aren’t the smartest? Yeah, New Hampshire is beating us by 0.3 points, crazy I know.

I did look into a blog about the origins of our coined niceness. It mentioned that this idea resembles rule one in the Scandinavian Law of Jante stating:

Don’t think that you are special

It means that not one person is more important than another; it’s a Scandinavian social norm. Ironically, I looked into the 10 Law’s of Jante on the notoriously untrustworthy Wikipedia and the rest of the laws basically state that you are insignificant compared to us, in Jante’s terms “we.”

While I think this origin idea is cute (I suppose), I would argue that this term came to play after the 38 hanged Dakotan men concluding the U.S Dakota War, but I digress. Well, actually, I suppose this could be my critical argument. So basically, near the end of the war, a handful of Dakotan men were believed to do human injustices like r@p!ng white women and all that jazz. Many Minnesotan’s were furious to find this out, they caused such an uproar that the president (Abraham Lincoln) had to step in. To satisfy the majority of the state, Lincoln ordered to gather the men who committed these crimes and be hung. I believe there was 39 but one got a get out of jail free card as he was proven innocent. So 38 where hung in Mankato Square; it was quite the site from what I was told, people came far and wide to see this. Pictures where taken and many made it onto postcards.

This hanging was told all over the United States and caused a crash in the market. People where scared to visit Minnesota because they saw how much Minnesotans were please and proud by what they have done. So the sales decreases, and the Minnesotans needed a quick pitch to get tourist again. So they sweeped the war and hangings under the rug and told people things like how green our state is, it’s peaceful, there’s lakes everywhere, everyone is so hospitable, the nicest people you will ever meet.

And it worked, still does. And that is my Minnesota Nice origin story.