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.
How did Richard Sears become the 19th-cenury’s king of mail order catalogs? Britt Aamodt has a tale of an unwanted crate of pocket watches and an industrious Redwood Falls station agent.
Paul Volberding grew up in Rochester with a bedroom window that overlooked the Mayo Clinic. Britt Aamodt picks up the story years later when Volberding co-founds the first AIDS clinic in the nation.
Summer tourists know Brainerd as a lake destination. But epidemiologists know about it for another reason. Britt Aamodt has the case history of Brainerd diarrhea.
In 1926, Donald Wandrei was a 19-year-old university student when he decided to write a fan letter to H.P. Lovecraft. Britt Aamodt has an account of Wandrei’s summer hitchhike trip to visit the horror writer and how that friendship led Wandrei, years later, to found Arkham House to publish and preserve Lovecraft’s fiction.
In 1946, Forrest O. Wiggins was the first African-American instructor hired by the University of Minnesota. Two years later, he was fighting to keep his job against accusations of communism. Britt Aamodt has this tale from the era of the Red Scare.