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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: Dr. Chew’s Meat Locker

MN90: Dr. Chew’s Meat Locker

Actor James Wong grew up in Minneapolis, braving snow drifts and subzero cold. But nothing could prepare him for the Los Angeles meat locker that stood in for his character Dr. Chew’s laboratory while filming Blade Runner in 1981. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


MN90: Chernobyl, Minnesota

MN90: Chernobyl, Minnesota

In 1986, a routine safety test resulted in the rupture of the Number 4 reactor in Chernobyl in the Soviet Union. Five thousand miles away and weeks later, Minnesota detected a radiation cloud floating overhead. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


MN90: What Minnesota Ate

MN90: What Minnesota Ate

The Federal Writers was winding down in 1940, when Minnesota writers were dispatched to report what and how people ate in their state for a proposed book, America Eats. Those essays would remain unpublished for over half a century. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


MN90: You’re a Quiet One, Dr. Seuss

MN90: You’re a Quiet One, Dr. Seuss

Maurice Noble, born 1911 in Minnesota, had worked in Dr. Seuss’ animation unit during World War II. Back then Seuss was Major Theodore Geisel. Now in 1966, they were back together animating Seuss’ Grinch, and Noble still didn’t know what Geisel thought of his work. It would take a death and a doctor to find out. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


MN90: Cubby and the Country Star

MN90: Cubby and the Country Star

Cubby was a black bear living peaceably at a wildlife park near Sandstone, Minnesota—until he got dental problems and his owner sold him for a canned hunt. His death made national news because the man who shot him was country music star Troy Gentry. Here’s producer Britt Aamodt.


MN90: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Eagles

MN90: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Eagles

Bernie Leadon, born in Minneapolis in 1947, wasn’t one of the heavy-hitting songwriters in the band The Eagles. That designation went to Don Henley and Glenn Frey. But he did write an instrumental that hitchhiked the galaxy with Douglas Adams. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


MN90: The Spy who Loved WetBikes

MN90: The Spy who Loved WetBikes

In 1977, the Thief River Falls company that’s now called Arctic Cat had a new personal watercraft that was a cross between a jet ski and a motorcycle. And its public debut wouldn’t be in a showroom but on the big screen under the command of James Bond. Here’s Britt Aamodt


MN90: Blamed for the US-Dakota War of 1862

MN90: Blamed for the US-Dakota War of 1862

The fate of 303 Dakota men, alleged to be responsible for the US-Dakota War of 1862, lay in the hands of President Abraham Lincoln. Not surprisingly, the evidence compiled against each was hasty or even non-existent. But that didn’t stop Minnesotans like St. Paul doctor Thaddeus Williams writing Lincoln to hang them all. Here’s producer Britt Aamodt.


MN90: The Trouble with Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen

MN90: The Trouble with Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen

In 1963, Maurice Sendak became a beloved world-famous author with the publication of Where the Wild Things Are. It was a different story with 1970’s In the Night Kitchen, which stirred controversy in many cities, including Elk River, Minnesota. Here’s producer Britt Aamodt.


MN90: Dictator’s Playbook

MN90: Dictator’s Playbook

Twin Cities Public Television is known for producing content with a local angle. But in 2019, it got behind a new documentary series that examined the tricks and tactics of six dictators and their rise to power, The Dictator’s Playbook. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


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