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MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds

64 EpisodesProduced by AmpersWebsite

Daily dose of Minnesota history - MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds" is a history program airing on Ampers stations in Minnesota. It is a co-production of Ampers and the Minnesota Historical Society. Made possible by funding from the Minnesota Art's and Cultural Heritage fund.

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The First Case of Spanish Flu

May 22nd, 2020


The Spanish Flu descended on Minnesota in 1918, at a time when the world had no effective answer to major pandemics. The state's disjointed response …

Minnesota Broadcaster’s Pioneering Use of Satellites

May 21st, 2020


The invention of the satellite newsgathering truck by lifelong Minnesota broadcaster Stanley S. Hubbard was met with skepticism when he first demonstrated it in 1981. But as MN90 producer Marisa Helms reports, nowadays …

Last Flight of the Queen

May 20th, 2020


Carole Lombard was the queen of 1930’s screwball comedies, and she was married to Clark Gable. The two Second Lieutenants from Minnesota never …

Young JFK Hits the Airwaves

May 19th, 2020


In 1940, John F. Kennedy was 23 and sick, which explains his visit to the Mayo Clinic. But he was also a newly published author. Britt Aamodt has the story behind JFK’s radio interview at KROC-AM

Attacking an Epidemic without a Plan

May 18th, 2020


In 1872, the Minnesota State Board of Health was created to coordinate sanitation and disease control statewide. And by 1918, the average lifespan …

Hazeltine National Golf Club

May 15th, 2020


Totten “Tot” Heffelfinger was an amateur golfer who worried that Minnesota’s golf courses were becoming too small and cramped for a new era of …

Minnesota's GLBT Champion

May 14th, 2020


Allan Spear accomplished a lot in his three decades in the Minnesota Senate. But it’s the 1993 Minnesota Human Rights Act that he would call his …

A Druggist in a Time of Influenza

May 13th, 2020


James Douglas Falconer might have chosen to become a vet like his dad Thomas. Instead, the young man from Alexandria, Minnesota, trained as a druggist. September 1918, Falconer started his new job at Rexall Drug Store …

In the Middle of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

May 12th, 2020


July 2014, Patrick Sawyer just wanted to finish his conference in Nigeria and get home to Coon Rapids. Two of his daughters had birthdays coming up. …

Minnesota Madness

May 11th, 2020


Intercollegiate basketball conjures up images of March Madness and games played at some of the nations most popular universities. The birthplace of …

Evidence of an Ancient Cataclysm

May 8th, 2020


The Ham Lake Fire of May 2007 devastated thousands of acres in Northeast Minnesota. Britt Aamodt looks at how it also turned up evidence of a cataclysmic event that took place 1.8 billion years ago.

The Dance of Healing

May 7th, 2020


University of Minnesota professor Brenda Child heard a story growing up on the Red Lake reservation about a sick girl and the vision her father …

Frankenstein on Stage

May 6th, 2020


Victor Frankenstein and his Creature never had a true heart-to-heart in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. Britt Aamodt looks at how playwright Barbara Field finally brought the creator and created together in her 1988 Guthrie …

Minnesota Kicks the Habit

May 5th, 2020


Minnesota is the only state that took on the tobacco companies and won. Now, thanks to a settlement of more than 6 billion dollars, Minnesotans and …

Inventing The Slider

May 4th, 2020


For nearly 50 years, Charles Albert Bender was the only Minnesota-born baseball player inducted into the Hall of Fame, in part for inventing the …

A Nurse in the Spanish Flu Epidemic

May 1st, 2020


September 16, 1918, Nora Emilie Anderson was embarking on the biggest adventure in her 37 years. The native of Rock Dell, Minnesota, was one of hundreds of nurses boarding a ship en route to the Great War in Europe. …

Surf's Up

April 30th, 2020


"Well, everybody's heard about the bird. Well, uh, bird, bird, bird, bird is the word." Britt Aamodt traces the origins of the 1963 surf rock hit, …

The Animating Docter of Pixar

April 29th, 2020


Pete Docter imagined adventures at his childhood home in Bloomington, MN. But at Pixar, says Britt Aamodt, he animated them.

Supermayor is Watching Over You

April 28th, 2020


St. Paul has had a lot of mayors. But, according to Britt Aamodt, only one Supermayor.

The Pioneer Seedswoman

April 27th, 2020


Carrie H. Lippincott was merely looking for a way to support her mother, sister and brother-in-law. But out of necessity grew a flourishing seed business. Britt Aamodt reveals the Pioneer Seedswoman of America.

Sum-Sum-Summertime in Albert Lea

April 24th, 2020


There was Gene Vincent. There was Chuck Berry. And there was Eddie Cochran. But Britt Aamodt reveals that only one of these '50s rockers made "Summertime Blues" a hit—and hailed from Minnesota.

Surviving the Tornadoes of 1965

April 23rd, 2020


While many powerful and deadly tornadoes have battered Minnesota, those that struck on May 6th, 1965, stand out because they hit the …

The Art of Migration

April 22nd, 2020


Cy Thao wanted to tell the story of the Hmong people. Britt Aamodt finds out that he did it not with words but with paint and canvas.

The Architect, The Girl, and a Big Mistake

April 21st, 2020


Architect Frank Lloyd Wright may have made a name for himself with his legendary homes all over the country, but he also had a reputation with the ladies. Producer Allison Herrera tells us about one incident that …

Ike's Farewell Speechwriter

April 20th, 2020


In 2010, Grant Moos finally decided to go through the boxes left behind by his dead father, Malcolm Moos, President Eisenhower’s chief speechwriter. …

Studying Chimps with SIV

April 17th, 2020


Growing up in Minnesota, Michael Wilson knew he wanted to work with primates after he watched a documentary on Dian Fossey. Britt Aamodt looks at Wilson’s work with the research team that studied the primate version of …

Sweating It

April 16th, 2020


Minnesota weather isn’t known for its steaminess. So Britt Aamodt wonders how the state ended up with the oldest Finnish steam bath in North America.

Mr. Cool

April 15th, 2020


Frederick McKinley Jones was an inveterate tinkerer. So it wasn’t surprising that after a sweltering summer drive in Minnesota, he hit upon an idea. Britt Aamodt looks at the inventor behind the refrigerated truck.

Texting Away History

April 14th, 2020


You hardly ever hear about kids writing in diaries anymore because paper and pencils seem to have been replaced by computers and text messages. As …

The Artist In Red Wing

April 13th, 2020


Charles Biederman was one of the great abstract artists in the 20th century. Britt Aamodt tries to discover why this Cleveland-born artist has more art in Minnesota museums than anywhere else.

The Automatic Pop-up Toaster

April 10th, 2020


Charles Perkins Strite was tired of burnt toast. So the Minnesota inventor set out to do something about it. Britt Aamodt offers up a tale of a new kind of toaster.

Death by Hearse

April 9th, 2020


To prepare lectures for his course on Death and Dying at Hamline University in St. Paul, Mark Berkson visited religious centers around the Twin …

The Beatles' Minnesota Guitar

April 8th, 2020


The Beatles' press conference in Minneapolis, August 1965, played a part in—or rather, added guitar to—the group's 1966 album Rubber Soul. Britt …

The Carlton Celebrity Room

April 7th, 2020


The Carlton Celebrity Room was featured in the film Fargo. But Britt Aamodt tells us this dinner club was more than a piece of Coen Brothers fiction.

Kodiak Days

April 6th, 2020


They were southern Minnesotans who signed up for the National Guard during the Great Depression. Many did it for a job when jobs were scarce. But when America entered World War II, they found themselves on an island. …

The Cereal Shot from Guns

April 3rd, 2020


Everybody would like to have the kind of accident botanist Alexander Anderson had at the turn of the 20th century. He went looking for starch …

The Citizens League

April 2nd, 2020


What makes Minnesota unique? The lakes, the weather...and the Minnesota Citizen's League. For over 60 years, the Minnesota Citizens League has helped tackle some of the toughest problems in the state. MN90 producer …

The Death of Superman

April 1st, 2020


Dan Jurgens had a Clark Kent childhood in Ortonville, Minnesota. But Britt Aamodt reveals that Jurgens's relationship with the Man of Steel didn’t end there.

World's Tougest (Toy) Trucks

March 31st, 2020


The variety of toys available today seems endless. But in the 1940s, a now-classic toy designed near Lake Minnetonka practically ruled the industry. …

Whoopee John

March 30th, 2020


He was born John Wilfart in New Ulm, Minnesota. But legions of fans knew him as Whoopee John. Britt Aamodt resurrects the king of Midwest polka.

Wilde Nights

March 27th, 2020


Before Oscar Wilde became a dead author studied in literature courses, he was a dandy with a love of beauty, the arts and the written word. Britt …

Weaver's Sweet Land

March 26th, 2020


Will Weaver needed to get away from his father’s dairy farm to have more time to write. And did he write. Britt Aamodt examines how one of Weaver’s story went from New York Times notable book to film and stage.

A National Geographic Photographer’s Time at the Lake

March 25th, 2020


William Albert Allard spent boyhood summers at Lake Gladstone outside Nisswa, Minnesota. Decades later, the National Geographic photographer returned, says Britt Aamodt, to tell the Minnesota Lake Country story in …

Yanni's Chameleon Years

March 24th, 2020


The musician Yanni is famous for his New Age style and prolific solo career. But before he went out on his own, he was part of a “bombastic pop band” …

A Sleepy Eye Babe

March 23rd, 2020


Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore, traded by Boston and beloved by the world. But Britt Aamodt looks at a day in 1922 when Babe Ruth came to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.

Father Time

March 20th, 2020


Franz Halberg, a scientist and physician at the University of Minnesota, was fascinated by the human body’s daily rhythms. Not only did people wake and sleep in concert with the sun, but internal processes, like heart …

A Small Town's Identity Bound By Twine

March 19th, 2020


With a population of around 300 people, the town of Darwin, Minnesota, is fairly small. But it’s home to one gigantic ball of twine. Weighing in at …

When Minnesota Learned to Meditate

March 18th, 2020


He was called Paramahansa Yogananda but many knew him better at Swami Yoganada, the Indian guru whose spiritual mission brought him to America in 1920. Britt Aamodt fast forwards seven years to 1927 when, for three …

Up and Atom

March 17th, 2020


America in the 1950s was preparing for the Soviets to drop the bomb any minutes. But less than two decades later, says Britt Aamodt, Minnesota was building the first rural nuclear plant in America.

Bon Appetit!

March 16th, 2020


In 1995, hundreds of Minnesotans lined up at the Minneapolis Dayton’s with cookbooks under their arms. There were here to see cookbook author and …

Van Gogh, the Final Frontier

March 13th, 2020


Leonard Nimoy created an iconic character for Star Trek in Spock. Britt Aamodt tells us about another of Nimoy’s iconic roles produced with the help …

What's That Smell?

March 12th, 2020


3M is famous for inventing the Post-It note. But Britt Aamodt has uncovered a 3M that gave you a scratch you just had to sniff.

Cow Town

March 11th, 2020


In 1886, Alpheus Beede Stickney built a stockyard along the Mississippi. Britt Aamodt traces the history of South Saint Paul as Minnesota’s cow town.

Tom Nelson vs. the Ghost Bird

March 10th, 2020


Tom Nelson was an electrical engineer living in Minnesota who got involved in a birding controversy. Britt Aamodt reports how the engineer weighed on …

Eat Well and Stay Well

March 9th, 2020


Ancel and Margaret Keys, researchers at the University of Minnesota, wondered why Twin Cities businessmen were dying of heart disease, while, an …

Dr. Martha Ripley, an Early Champion for Women's Rights

March 6th, 2020


Martha Ripley was a nurse by training when she moved to Minneapolis with her husband in 1883. Her expertise in medical care and her commitment to …

High Priestess of the Women’s Magazine

March 5th, 2020


Minnesotan Margaret Culkin Banning (1891-1982) is probably one of the most prolific writers you’ve never heard of. Though often overlooked, Banning …

Women in the House

March 4th, 2020


The feminists who arose in the '60s and '70s set out to change the world. Britt Aamodt finds out how one Minnesota feminist made changes one legislative seat at a time.

Gary Paulsen’s Tales of the Wild

March 3rd, 2020


Gary Paulsen was working for an aeronautics firm when it suddenly dawned on him: he was meant to be a writer. Britt Aamodt finds the connections …

Women Strike for Equal Pay

March 2nd, 2020


In the late 1970s, eight female employees from the Citizens’ National Bank in Willmar stirred up controversy in their town and across the country when they filed a complaint against the bank for unequal pay and gender …

Minnesota's Glacial Days

February 25th, 2020


Minnesotans grouse about long, cold winters now. But until 10,000 years ago, those long cold stretches were positively glacial, says Britt Aamodt.

Forever Ours

February 25th, 2020


Dr. Janis Amutuzio started collecting stories about the possibility of life after death, though she didn’t know it yet, as a first-year medical …

Kirkbride Sanctuary

February 25th, 2020


They were known as Kirkbride facilities, hospitals designed to give more comfort and privacy to patients with mental illness. Britt Aamodt takes us to Minnesota's Kirkbride building, the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment …

Janis' Albert Lea Drummer

February 25th, 2020


The photo is iconic: Janis Joplin astride a Harley-Davidson. Britt Aamodt tells us how a Minnesotan captured that indelible image.

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