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Congress Recognizes Minnesota's 150th Anniversary

Yesterday, Congress finally got around to dealing with H.Res. 923, my resolution recognizing the State of Minnesota's 150th Anniversary. Minnesota celebrated its Sesquicentennial on May 11, and the fact that Congressional Leadership finally got around to working it into its schedule almost a month later should be a stark reminder of how do-nothing this Do-Nothing Leadership has been.

This delay is even more surprising considering Congress wasn't tackling an important issue like our rising energy costs. But nevertheless, here are some facts about Minnesota you might find interesting:

* In 1889, the St. Mary hospital now known as the Mayo Clinic opened its doors to patients in Rochester, Minnesota.

* Minnesota houses over 30 institutions of higher education including the University of Minnesota - where the first open heart surgery and first bone marrow transplant were performed in the United States.

* Minnesota is currently home to more than 35 Fortune 500 Companies.

* Farmland spans over half of Minnnesota's 54 million acres and the agriculture industry is Minnesota's second largest job market employing nearly 80,000 farmers.

For 150 years, Minnesota has attracted a special caliber of people. They are people of faith and charity, hope and dedication, love and compassion. And that compassion was recently exemplified best through the outpouring of assistance and support to the victims of the tornado that hit the town of Hugo, Minnesota a couple weeks back.

Over a thousand volunteers have helped with the clean up effort. Hugo Mayor Fran Miron mentioned one story of a Forest Lake man and some young teens bringing an SUV by city hall and unloading a batch of canned goods to be donated for tornado victims. As the vehicle left the hall, Miron said one of the youngsters yelled: "Mayor, we love you." This is just one example of the many generous acts of kindness displayed by Minnesota residents these past couple of weeks.

"Minnesota Nice" is more than a saying; it's a way of life.

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