Minnesnowta's "Dayton's Monkey" Blizzard



This past week, the Midwest has been hit with a late April blizzard, officially named Winter Storm Xanto but dubbed Dayton’s Monkey Blizzard by Minnesotans. As a Minnesotan, I’ve had an influx of great videos of my dog that I wanted to share.

Where does the name “Dayton’s Monkey Blizzard” come from, you ask? This record-setting snowstorm has been blamed on a curse from a long-dead monkey found in the ventilation of the old Dayton’s department store building. Dayton’s, the Minnesota based company that would go on to spawn Target, once housed a variety of exotic animals before it was outlawed in Minnesota.

Several theories have floated around as to how the monkey got into the ducts. Regan Murphy, the mayor of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, recalls the story of how his grandfather stole a monkey from Dayton’s. Apparently, Larry Murphy and a friend set the monkey they had stolen loose back in Dayton’s after it pooped in Larry’s room. The governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, is the great-grandson of the George Dayton that founded Dayton’s and has his own theory. According to him, the monkey may have come from a 1968 rainforest enclosure which included monkeys and birds. He says “Somebody didn’t figure out that the monkeys were carnivores. I won’t get into the graphic details … But the next day they had a netting up to segregate and separate the birds from the monkeys. And they said one monkey got out and went into the air duct.”

Whatever the cause of Dayton’s Monkey, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area has seen its heaviest April snowstorm on record with 15.8 inches falling from April 13-16. It’s also the 12th heaviest Twin Cities snowstorm on record. Amherst, Wisconsin got the greatest snowfall, coming in at 33 inches with drifts of 5-6 feet.

The gargoyle on my front porch represents how most Minnesotans are feeling now! Between shovels and memes about the snow, they’ll make it through though.