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.
R.D. Zimmerman’s fascination with Russia took root with an introductory Russian language class at Macalester College in St. Paul. Britt Aamodt examines the transformation of Zimmerman into an author, under the pen name Robert Alexander, and his Russian trilogy, beginning with the 2003 novel The Kitchen Boy.
Growing up in St. Louis Park, Thomas Friedman looked forward to afternoon golf games with Dad. Friedman figured he’d be a pro golfer. Britt Aamodt looks into the high school journalism class that altered his destiny—while also making room for the occasional tee time.
Totten “Tot” Heffelfinger was an amateur golfer who worried that Minnesota’s golf courses were becoming too small and cramped for a new era of hard-hitting pro golfers. What was needed was a bigger, better course. Britt Aamodt investigates the origins of Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Beginning with the 1996 film “Fargo” and continuing in 2014 with the spin-off TV series, actors have inhabited a fictional universe centered in small-town Minnesota. Britt Aamodt looks at one of the biggest challenges those actors face: learning the Minnesota accent.
Mark Sertich from West Duluth was a hockey player but not just any old hockey player. Britt Aamodt takes a page from the Guinness Book of Records with this story of the world’s oldest hockey player.
Less than a month before, in May 1964, the Rolling Stones’ first LP hit American record stores. So when they rolled into Excelsior, Minnesota, there weren’t any paparazzi or screaming girls. Not much fuss at all. Britt Aamodt looks at the June night when the Stones played Danceland.
In the late 1980s, Alison Bechdel moved to Minneapolis to work for the LGBT newspaper Equal Time. But in her spare time, she drew and elaborated on the comic strip she had begun in New York in 1983. Britt Aamodt looks at how a “nearly famous” artist was eventually able to give up her day job.
For years, Kate DiCamillo called herself a writer, thought of herself as a writer, but wasn’t actually doing much writing—until a cold Minnesota winter night, when she was lying in bed and heard a little girl’s voice in her head say, “I have a dog named Winn-Dixie.” Britt Aamodt has the story of how DiCamillo really became a writer.
In 1864, a year after the Dakota Conflict, Chief Little Crow, his 16-year-old son, one woman and a handful of men returned to the Minnesota land that was no longer theirs. The ousted group of Dakota was now rootless and homeless, and they were outside Hutchinson, looking for the horses they’d need for this new nomadic life. Britt Aamodt has the story of what happened instead.
Rene Valdes was one of 125,000 Cubans who sought asylum in the United States during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. Valdes only knew he wanted to live a free and open life as a gay man, but where, when he didn’t know anyone in the US? Britt Aamodt has the story of his journey to Minnesota.