Lance Morrow: How Minnesota Went From Tom Sawyer to Huck Finn

From a Wall Street Journal commentary by Lance Morrow headlined “How Minnesota Went From Tom Sawyer to Huck Finn”:

I wrote a 1973 cover story for Time magazine that praised Minnesota as “the state that works.” The cover photograph showed Gov. Wendell Anderson, dressed in a plaid flannel shirt, grinning and holding up a northern pike that he had just caught in one of Minnesota’s 12,000 lakes.

The story began with this archaic rhapsody: “It is a state where a residual American secret still seems to operate. Some of the nation’s more agreeable qualities are evident there: courtesy and fairness, honesty, a capacity for innovation, hard work, intellectual adventure and responsibility. . . . Minnesotans are remarkably civil; their crime rate is the third lowest in the nation (after Iowa and Maine).”