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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.