Minnesota is the 32nd state of the United States, having joined the Union on May 11, 1858. Its name is from the Dakota people's name for the Minnesota River, mini sota, variously translated "smoky-white water" or "sky-tinted water". The state's name is abbreviated MN or Minn.
Except for Alaska, Minnesota is the most northerly of all the states (reaching lat. 49°23'55"N). The climate is humid continental. Winter locks the land in snow, spring is brief, and summers are hot. Prehistoric glaciers left marshes, boulder-strewn hills, and rich, gray drift soil stretching from the northern pine wilderness to the broad southern prairies.
Minnesota's factories produce nonelectrical machinery, fabricated metals, flour-mill products, plastics, electronic computers, scientific instruments, and processed foods. The state is also a leader in the printing and paper-products industries.
Among the most popular attractions are the St. Paul Winter Carnival; the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, the Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and Minnehaha Park, in Minneapolis; Boundary Waters Canoe Area.