May 11, 1858, Minnesota was granted statehood. 159 years old. Does it seem like it's been nine years since the sesquicentennial? Playing a major role in Minnesota's quest for statehood was territorial delegate Henry Mower Rice, for whom Rice County is named. Rice introduced legislation for Minnesota to form a state constitution and railroad land grant bill.

May 11 is noteworthy for another Minnesota connection. Happy birthday, Spam. On May 11, 1937, Hormel was granted a trademark for Spam, an interesting food product that received a tremendous shot in the arm during World War II. Meat in a can that didn't spoil for our troops.

Today's it's as popular as ever with so many recipes. Hawaiians have an intense interest in Spam. In fact, just a few weeks ago Waikiki hosted the annual Spam Jam where people in the food industry gather and share recipes and offer demonstrations on the power of Spam. In fact, one of the attendees this year was a man from England who works in the Spam factory in Liverpool. He has legally changed his middle name to I Love Spam. Just a few weeks ago he married his lady love at the Spam Museum in a Spam-themed wedding.

Happy Birthday Spam and Happy Birthday Minnesota!