Fort Snelling National Cemetary
In 1870 the Fort Snelling cemetery was created to serve as a burial place for soldiers who died while stationed at the fort. In the mid-1930s members of the Grand Army of the Republic, Spanish-American War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, and the American Legion came together to push for the establishment of a national military cemetery at Fort Snelling. Theresa Ericksen, an army veteran, was instrumental in the effort. In 1936 and 1937 Congress approved the project and passed laws that allowed the secretary of war to set aside a portion of the Fort Snelling military reservation for the cemetery.
Fort Snelling National Cemetery was dedicated on July 14, 1939, marking the first time a grassroots movement resulted in the founding of a national cemetery. George H. Mallon of Minneapolis was the first person buried there. Mallon was a graduate of the Fort Snelling officers training camp, a World War I veteran, and a Medal of Honor recipient. Burials from previous Fort Snelling cemeteries, dating back to the 1820s, were also moved to the national cemetery.
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:25 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Visitation Hours: April – October (During Daylight Savings Time)
Open Monday thru Friday – 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Open Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays – 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
October – April
Open Monday thru Friday – 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Open Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Allert, Johannes. “Ericksen, Theresa (1868–1943).” MNopedia, March 29, 2017.
Allert, Johannes. ‘It’s Comradeship That Counts!’ How ‘Our Little Minnesota Nurse’ Helped Created the State’s First National Cemetery. (PDF) Minnesota History 65, no. 8 (Winter 2017–18): 302–313.
Chicoine, Stephen. Our Hallowed Ground: World War II Veterans of Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2005
DeCarlo, Peter. Fort Snelling at Bdote: A Brief History. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017. Minnesota Veterans Graves Registration.
US Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Association. Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Spring time at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 2016. Photo by Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
National Cemetery Administration. Source: National Cemetery Administration (NCA) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.