Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 19, 1960):
Fort Snelling (begun in 1820) was the first American fort in modern Minnesota, an important post on the edge of European-American settlement in the Old Northwest; additionally, it played a significant role in the transformation of the US Army from a small frontier force to that of a major modern army. The fort expanded several times, one of the largest expansions dating from the 1880s to the early 1900s and dubbed "New Fort Snelling". It was at that time (after the Civil War), that Fort Snelling served as the headquarters and supply base for the Department of Dakota. There was another huge development at the Fort during WWII when the fort processed over 300,000 inductees and trained soldiers, though that development is now occupied by the Minneapolis airport.