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.
In 2010, Grant Moos finally decided to go through the boxes left behind by his dead father, Malcolm Moos, President Eisenhower’s chief speechwriter. Britt Aamodt looks at how some housecleaning uncovered the creative development behind one of Ike’s most famous speeches.
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.
To prepare lectures for his course on Death and Dying at Hamline University in St. Paul, Mark Berkson visited religious centers around the Twin Cities. But on a lunchtime walk near school, he nearly met his own death. Britt Aamodt has the anecdote of the professor and the hearse.
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. Britt Aamodt tells the story of the Minnesotans stationed on Kodiak Island.
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 between Paulsen’s life in the Minnesota wilds and his books Hatchet and Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod.
Ancel and Margaret Keys, researchers at the University of Minnesota, wondered why Twin Cities businessmen were dying of heart disease, while, an ocean away, the townsfolk of Naples, Italy, rarely did. Britt Aamodt discovers how the couple’s quest for a healthy diet (and good eats) led to their best-selling 1959 cookbook Eat Well and Stay Well.
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 rate and blood pressure, also seemed to vary in a regular pattern. Britt Aamodt investigates the man who coined the term Circadian Rhythm.
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.
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 television personality Julia Child. Britt Aamodt has the story of that rare personal appearance and the Minneapolis food writer, Lee Svitak Dean, who got to share an afternoon glass of wine with the author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.