Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Happy birthday, Rochester!  

The third largest city in Minnesota was incorporated August 5th, 1858.

A guy by the name of Thomas Simpson first settled in this area. He staked a claim to a portion of land along the Zumbro River near where the Government Center is located in 1854. The 1860 census put the new town’s population at 1,424.

About 5,000 people were living in Rochester when a monstrous tornado struck Aug. 21, 1883. Nearly 40 people were killed and destruction was widespread. But that disaster was also the beginning of Rochester’s claim to fame - the now world famous Mayo Clinic.

Dr. William W. Mayo had been practicing in the city and in the aftermath of the tornado, he was approached by a group of local nuns (Sisters of St. Francis) who proposed a new hospital. The nuns, Mayo and his sons opened St. Marys Hospital in 1889 and the rest is history.

Rochester grew steadily over the decades but its population exploded after 2000, increasing from 86,000 to an estimated 114,000 in 2016.

Did you know Rochester has been ranked as the second windiest city in the country?  According to the Weather Channel, the city’s average wind speed is 12.6 mph, one degree lower than Amarillo,Texas.

This means Rochester should have no problem blowing out the 159 candles on this year’s birthday cake!

For more info about the city, check here.


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