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MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds a fun exploration of wide-ranging topics including sports, politics, environment, business, entertainment, pop culture, and more. Listen for a new episode of MN90 each week day on your local Ampers station or subscribe to the podcast feed on Apple, Spotify, Google and RadioPublic,

MN90: Roy Wilkins, the Civil Rights Act and LBJ

MN90: Roy Wilkins, the Civil Rights Act and LBJ



Roy Wilkins earned his professional chops as a Twin Cities journalist. But it was as an activist and director of the NAACP, says producer Britt Aamodt, that Wilkins helped change history with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

MN90: Ranee Ramaswamy’s Minneapolis Dance Company

MN90: Ranee Ramaswamy’s Minneapolis Dance Company

In 1978, Ranee Ramaswamy, her husband and their three-year-old daughter moved from southern India to Minneapolis. Within a year, Ramaswamy would give her first public Indian classical dance performance and, fourteen years after that, found her own company. Here’s Britt Aamodt with the history of Ragamala Dance Company.


MN90: Todd Bol’s Little Free Library

MN90: Todd Bol’s Little Free Library

In 2009, Todd Bol, who’d grown up in Stillwater, was renovating his garage when he decided to turn the old door into a memorial for his mother Esther, a teacher before she died. He created a tiny schoolhouse that he set on a pole at the foot of his driveway and stuffed with free books. Britt Aamodt has the story of the first Little Free Library.


MN90: The Minnesota Music Man and Charlie Manson

MN90: The Minnesota Music Man and Charlie Manson

In 1939, Gregg Jakobson was born in St. Paul, where he was adopted by a police chief and his wife. By 1968, Jakobson was a California session arranger and music scout when Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson introduced him to a potentially hot songwriting prospect. The songwriter was Charlie Manson. Here’s Britt Aamodt with the story.


MN90: President Taft in Winona

MN90: President Taft in Winona

September 17, 1909, President William Howard Taft arrived in Winona, one stop in hundreds during the new president’s 56-day whistle-stop tour of America. But what he’d say that day at the Winona Opera House, about a new tariff bill, would foreshadow a rift in the Republican Party and the rupturing of Taft’s closest friendship—with Teddy Roosevelt. Britt Aamodt has the story.


MN90: Horsecars

MN90: Horsecars

In the late 19th century, with the Twin Cities rapidly expanding, it was becoming harder to reach distant points. St. Paul solved with the transportation problem with the introduction of horsecars in 1872, Minneapolis following suit three years later. Yet the streets were soon drowning in manure. Here’s Britt Aamodt with the story.


MN90: Two Years at Camp Zama

MN90: Two Years at Camp Zama

At the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ronald Glasser had trained to be a pediatrician. But in 1968, at the height of the Tet Offensive, the kid doctor found himself at an overseas base, operating on the casualties of the Vietnam War. Britt Aamodt has the history behind Glasser’s 1971 book 365 Days.


MN90: Jeannette Piccard

MN90: Jeannette Piccard

Jeannette Piccard may have been one of the first women to get her balloon license and to pilot a research mission to the stratosphere but she had even higher ambitions. Britt Aamodt finds out how Piccard, at age 79, broke the glass ceiling to become one of the first female Episcopal priests in America.


MN90: The Minnesota Kid

MN90: The Minnesota Kid

Ted Williams wanted to the best hitter in baseball. Instead in 1938, the California youth found himself demoted to the minor leagues. Britt Aamodt looks at Ted Williams’ season with the Minneapolis Millers.


MN90: Taking Care of Trees

MN90: Taking Care of Trees

In 1888, Samuel Green became the University of Minnesota’s newest horticulturist. But his interests ranged beyond agriculture to the state of Minnesota’s trees, which were being mown down by the lumber trade. Britt Aamodt has the history behind one of the oldest schools of forestry in the nation.


MN90: The Keys of K-Rations

MN90: The Keys of K-Rations

In 1941, the U.S. Military had an assignment for Ancel Keys, University of Minnesota physiologist: Create a combat ration that packs a caloric punch yet fits in a pocket. Britt Aamodt has the story behind World War II’s K-ration.


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