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Gubernatorial Addresses to the Minnesota Legislature

"State of the State" and Inaugural Addresses, 1857-present

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

A Brief Background

According to Article V, Section 3 of the Minnesota State Constitution, "The Governor shall communicate by message to each session of the legislature information touching the state and country."  Over the years, the "message to each session of the legislature" has often been the inaugural message. The legislature met annually through 1879. During each of those sessions, the House and Senate journals record the convening of joint sessions in the Hall of the House of Representatives in order to hear the annual message of the Governor.

The legislature met biennially from 1881 to 1971. During this time period, the journals referred simply to the "message of the Governor " and occasionally to the "biennial message of the Governor."  As far as we could verify, Governor LeVander's 1969 message to the legislature was the first to be titled "State of the State."

The legislature began meeting annually in flexible biennial sessions in 1973.  Since the 1973-74 session, messages have been delivered by the Governor to the legislature at the beginning of each session, but not always in the second year of the biennium. On January 3, 1983, Governor Perpich delivered a separate inaugural address at Hibbing High School, the first time an inaugural address was given outside the Capitol.

In earlier years it was common for both the incumbent governor to deliver a message and the governor-elect to deliver his inaugural address.  Governor Adolph O. Eberhart explained the custom at the beginning of his January 6, 1915 Final Message:

"In accordance with the custom established in this state, I have the honor to communicate to you such information and recommendations as seem appropriate at the close of this administration.  Recognizing the fact that to the incoming governor belongs the privilege as well as the responsibility of communicating such information and recommendations. I shall follow an established custom in this state, and in addressing the legislature on this occasion shall confine myself largely to policies already established and work not yet completed."

Governor Winfield Hammond followed with his Inaugural Message, outlining his recommendations.

Below are links to inaugural addressees, "State of the State" addresses, and selected special messages to the Legislature by Minnesota governors. They have been scanned and archived by the Legislative Library. The collection is not comprehensive. If the location of the speech was outside the State Capitol, the city is noted.


Date Governor Title
4/30/2014 Mark Dayton State of the State 2014 (video), 7 p.m.
2/6/2013 Mark Dayton State of the State 2013 (video), 7 p.m.
2/15/2012 Mark Dayton State of the State 2012 (video), 7 p.m.
2/9/2011 Mark Dayton State of the State 2011 (video), 12 p.m.
1/3/2011 Mark Dayton 2011 Inaugural address, Landmark Center, St. Paul
2/11/2010 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State 2010 (video), 11 a.m.
1/15/2009 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State 2009 (video), 12 p.m.
2/13/2008 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State 2008, St. Cloud Civic Center, 11 a.m.
1/17/2007 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State Address: A Better Minnesota (video), 12 p.m.
1/2/2007 Timothy Pawlenty 2007 Inaugural Address, Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul (video), 12 p.m.
3/9/2006 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State Address (video), 12 p.m.
1/18/2005 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State Address, Rochester, 11 a.m.
2/5/2004 Timothy Pawlenty State of the State Address (video), 12 p.m.
2/6/2003 Timothy Pawlenty Governor Pawlenty's State of the State Address (video), 12 p.m.
1/3/2002 Jesse Ventura State of the State Address, Governor's Residence, St. Paul, 6:30 p.m.
1/4/2001 Jesse Ventura State of the State Address: Bold Reforms for a New Economy (video), 3 p.m.
2000 Jesse Ventura No message
3/2/1999 Jesse Ventura Governor Jesse Ventura's State of the State Address: The State of the State is Great!, 12 p.m.
2/4/1998 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, 12 p.m.
1/16/1997 Arne Carlson Strengthening our Minnesota Community: 1997 State of the State Address, 12 p.m.
1/16/1996 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, Bloomington, 7:30 p.m.
1/18/1995 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, 12 p.m.
2/15/1994 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, Rochester, 12 p.m.
1/14/1993 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, 7 p.m.
2/11/1992 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, Hutchinson, 7 p.m.
1/22/1991 Arne Carlson State of the State Address, 6:30 p.m.
1/7/1991 Arne Carlson Inaugural Speech
2/15/1990 Rudolph Perpich 1990 State of the State: Building on our Success, Bloomington (First time the citizens of MN were asked to participate in the address. *Please see print copy for citizen contributions.), 12 p.m.
1/4/1989 Rudolph Perpich The State of the State, 6:30 p.m.
2/9/1988 Rudolph Perpich The State of the State 1988: Minnesota Preparing for the 1990's, Winona, 6:30 p.m.
1/7/1987 Rudolph Perpich The State of the State: A Report to the People of Minnesota, 7 p.m.
1986 Rudolph Perpich No message in 1986
1/10/1985 Rudolph Perpich The State of the State: A Message to the Minnesota Legislature and to the Citizens of Minnesota, 7 p.m.
1/10/1984 Rudolph Perpich The State of the State: A Message to the Minnesota State Legislature And the Citizens Of Minnesota, 12 p.m.
1/5/1983 Rudolph Perpich State of the State Address: A Message to the 73rd Session of the Minnesota Legislature and the Citizens of Minnesota., 12 p.m.
1/3/1983 Rudolph Perpich Inaugural Address, Hibbing
1/13/1982 Albert Quie State of the State Address. See also Tax Supplement to the State of the State Message, January 13, 1982., 12 p.m.
1/7/1981 Albert Quie State of the State Address
1/24/1980 Albert Quie State of the State Address
3/15/1979 Albert Quie Special Message on Education
2/5/1979 Albert Quie Special Message on Tax Relief
1/4/1979 Albert Quie Final Draft 1979 Inaugaral [sic] Address, State of Minnesota
1/24/1978 Rudolph Perpich A Message to the Reconvened 70th Session of the Minnesota Legislature and the Citizens of Minnesota
4/21/1977 Rudolph Perpich Address on the State of the Arts to the 70th Session of the Minnesota State Legislature
2/18/1977 Rudolph Perpich Energy Message to the 70th Session of the Minnesota State Legislature
2/15/1977 Rudolph Perpich Special Message: Corrections, Crime and Criminal Justice to the 70th Session of the Minnesota State Legislature
1/5/1977 Rudolph Perpich The State of the State: A Message to the 70th Session of the Minnesota State Legislature
1/21/1976 Wendell Anderson Governor Anderson delivered an informal message. A handwritten note on the document says "This is supposed to take the place of a State of the State Message."
1/8/1975 Wendell Anderson Second Inaugural Address of Governor Wendell R. Anderson to the 69th Session of the Legislature of Minnesota
1/16/1974 Wendell Anderson State of the State Address to the 68th Session of the Legislature of Minnesota
1/3/1973 Wendell Anderson State of the State Address to the 68th Session of the Legislature of Minnesota
3/23/1971 Wendell Anderson Special Message: Ethics in State Government and Legislative Reform: To Meet the Challenge of a New Day
1/6/1971 Wendell Anderson Inaugural Address of Governor Wendell R. Anderson
3/7/1969 Harold LeVander Consumer Protection: A Special Message to the 66th Session of the Legislature
2/27/1969 Harold LeVander Combating Crime: A Special Message to the 66th Session of the Legislature
2/13/1969 Harold LeVander Executive Reorganization: A Special Message to the 66th Session of the Legislature
1/8/1969 Harold LeVander State of the State to the 66th Session of the Legislature
1/4/1967 Harold LeVander Inaugural Address to the 65th Session of the Legislature
4/11/1963 Karl Rolvaag The Needs of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension: A Special Message to Members of the Sixty-Third Legislative Session
4/10/1963 Karl Rolvaag A Mental Health Program for Minnesota: A Special Message to Members of the Sixty-Third Legislative Session
4/1/1963 Karl Rolvaag Inaugural Address of Governor Karl F. Rolvaag
1/4/1961 Elmer Andersen Inaugural Address of Governor Elmer L. Andersen
1/11/1960 Orville Freeman Interim Address of Governor Orville L. Freeman to the People of Minnesota
2/23/1959 Orville Freeman Consumer Interests: A Special Message
2/9/1959 Orville Freeman Administrative Efficiency and Governmental Reorganization: A Special Message
1/7/1959 Orville Freeman Third Inaugural Address of Governor Orville L. Freeman
1/9/1957 Orville Freeman The Second Inaugural Address of Governor Orville L. Freeman
2/25/1955 Orville Freeman Governmental Reorganization: A Special Message
1/5/1955 Orville Freeman Inaugural Address of Governor Orville L. Freeman
1/3/1951 Luther Youngdahl Inaugural Address of Governor Luther W. Youngdahl
1/6/1949 Luther Youngdahl Centennial Inaugural Address of Governor Luther W. Youngdahl
1/3/1945 Edward Thye Inaugural Message of Governor Edward J. Thye
1/6/1943 Harold Stassen Inaugural Message of Governor Harold E. Stassen
1/5/1937 Elmer Benson Inaugural Message of Governor Elmer A. Benson
12/6/1933 Floyd Olson Special Message of Governor Floyd B. Olson
1/7/1925 Theodore Christianson Inaugural message of Governor Governor Theodore Christianson
1/7/1925 Jacob Preus Farewell Message of Governor J. A. O. Preus
1/5/1921 Jacob Preus Inaugural Message of Governor J. A. O. Preus
1919 Joseph Burnquist Inaugural Address of Governor J. A. A. Burnquist
1/6/1915 Winfield Hammond Inaugural Address of Governor Winfield S. Hammond
1915 Adolph Eberhart Final Message of Governor Adolph O. Eberhart
1913 Adolph Eberhart Second inaugural Address of Governor Adolph O. Eberhart
1911 Adolph Eberhart Inaugural Message of Governor Adolph O. Eberhart
1907 John Johnson Inaugural Message of Governor John A. Johnson
1893 Knute Nelson Inaugural Address of Governor Knute Nelson
1893 William Merriam Biennial Message of Governor William R. Merriam
1/9/1889 William Merriam Inaugural Address of Governor William R. Merriam
1/9/1889 Andrew McGill Biennial Message of Governor A. R. McGill
1/5/1887 Andrew McGill Inaugural Address of Governor Andrew R. McGill
1/9/1873 Horace Austin Annual Message of Governor Austin
1/10/1868 William Marshall Annual Message of Governor Marshall
1/4/1865 Stephen Miller Annual Message of Governor Miller
1/13/1864 Stephen Miller Inaugural Message of Governor Miller
1/11/1864 Henry Swift Annual Message of Governor Swift
1/7/1863 Alexander Ramsey Annual Message of Governor Ramsey
9/9/1862 Alexander Ramsey Extra Session: Message of Governor Ramsey
1/9/1862 Alexander Ramsey Annual Message of Governor Ramsey
6/3/1858 Henry Sibley Governor's Message
12/11/1857 Samuel Medary Governor's Message (delivered by "Mr. E. H. Cook, private Secretary to his Excellency")

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, 645 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155