Mpls.St.Paul Magazine: 40 Years of the Best

40 lists that celebrate the things that tie us together.

 Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's 40th Anniversary
Photographs by Steve Henke, Stephanie Colgan, and Katherine Harris

Sports, News, and Weather


1973: Fran Tarkenton leads the Vikings to a 27-10 upset of the Dallas Cowboys, in Dallas, to win the NFC Championship.

1975: Dallas beats the Vikings in the playoffs at Met Stadium on a long pass from Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson, coining the phrase “Hail Mary pass.”

1980: Team USA wins the men’s hockey gold medal at the Lake Placid Olympics. Half the roster—and coach Herb Brooks—is from Minnesota. 

1987: The Twins win their first World Series title in Game 7 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

1991: Kirby Puckett hits his legendary home run in Game 6 of the World Series.

1991: Jack Morris pitches 10 shutout innings in Game 7 of the World Series. The Twins beat Atlanta 1-0.

1998: TheVikings go 15-1 with one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history—only to lose in overtime to Atlanta in the NFC title game.

2006: Kirby Puckett—the most popular player in Minnesota sports history—dies suddenly in Arizona.

2009: Brett Favre shocks the NFL, and the Green Bay Packers, by signing with the Vikings. He leads the team to the NFC title game.

2010: Favre throws an interception late in regulation after a “12 men on the field” penalty. Vikings fans are crushed. New Orleans wins.


Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett wakes up before his 13th season without vision in his right eye.

Sam Cassell’s back spasms hold him out of games 5 and 6 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals, hampering the Timberwolves.

Ricky Rubio tears his ACL 41 games into his rookie season with the Timberwolves.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tears his ACL 15 games into a 7- year, $100 million contract.

Bill Masterton dies as a result of being checked in a North Stars game.

Justin Morneau’s concussion derails a 2010 MVP campaign and puts his Twins career in doubt.

Joe Mauer’s “bilateral leg weakness” and “flu-like symptoms” ruin the first season of an 8-year, $184 million extension with the Twins.

Timberwolves top scorer Al Jefferson tears his ACL in February of 2009, destroying his future in Minnesota.

Marian Gaborik’s “lower body injury” disrupts contract talks with the Minnesota Wild.

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill suffers “heat-related seizure” on the sidelines in a game against New Mexico State.


November 11, 1975: The Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior.

1979: The album Prince goes platinum, and the Minneapolis Sound is born.

February 22, 1980: The Miracle on Ice occurs when the U.S. Olympic hockey team, coached by Herb Brooks, beats the Soviet team.

October 25, 1987: The Minnesota Twins win the World Series.

October 22, 1989: Eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling is abducted and presumed dead.

October 27, 1991: The Twins win the World Series again.

November 4, 1998: Jesse “The Body” Ventura elected governor.

1999: Academic fraud is uncovered on the University of Minnesota men’s basketball program; coach Clem Haskins is fired.

October 25, 2002: U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) dies in a plane crash.

March 21, 2005: A gunman kills nine and injures seven in two shootings on the Red Lake Reservation.

August 1, 2007: The 35W bridge in downtown Minneapolis collapses.


1986: Brooklyn Park Tornado In a national first, KARE-11’s helicopter pilot follows a tornado live during a newscast. The ghostly white funnel hits Brooklyn Park, leaving behind a couple of injuries and valuable footage for scientists to study.

1988: The Drought and Heat Wave of ’88 The worst drought since the 1930s was marked by 44 days above 90 degrees in the Cities, lake water levels down three to six feet, and a nightmarish growing season for farmers.

1991: Halloween Superstorm A whopper with 28.4 inches of snow over three days, this unprecedented storm set a rash of records for most snow and earliest subzero cold.

1998: Hail and High Water A mild winter gave way to severe hailstorms during spring and summer, causing $2 billion in hail-related damage in Minnesota.

2009: Freak Downtown Tornado A fast-moving front spun up a weak tornado over Uptown, one that lifted near the Minneapolis Convention Center, leaving a swath of damage.

2011: Minneapolis Tornado An EF1-EF2 tornado touched down in St. Louis Park and tracked across North Minneapolis before pushing into Fridley, Mounds View, and Blaine. On the ground for more than six miles, the half-mile-wide tornado claimed at least one life and left behind a scar of severely damaged homes and businesses.

2011-2012: Year Without a Winter Only 22 inches of snow fell this winter in spite of a moderate La Niña pattern, which usually brings colder, snowier weather to the Twin Cities. Instead, we had the fourth-warmest winter on record. Mid-March 80-degree temps shattered records that have been on the books for more than a century.


President Amy Klobuchar
Winter Carnival beach volleyball contest
NBA champs the Timberwolves
Hennepin Avenue cultural corridor
Light-rail on every old streetcar line
The demolition of Block E
A World Series at Target Field
Flying carp in the Mississippi
Breaking 100 more weather “records”
The 2040 Vikings stadium debate


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