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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: Eliza Winston’s Case for Freedom

MN90: Eliza Winston’s Case for Freedom

Eliza Winston was supposed to be free. But her husband died before he could pay off Richard Christmas, her owner. Britt Aamodt looks at how a trip to St. Anthony, Minnesota, in 1860, helped Eliza Winston of Mississippi plan her escape from slavery.


MN90: Minnehaha Avenue Codebreakers

MN90: Minnehaha Avenue Codebreakers

Engineering Research Associates opened on Minnehaha Avenue in St. Paul in 1946, But the nondescript jumble of buildings concealed a secret. Britt Aamodt examines the history of ERA and its code-breaking machines.


MN90: JFK’s Murdered Mistress

MN90: JFK’s Murdered Mistress

Cicely Angleton was the offspring of two of the most prominent families in Duluth, the D’Autremonts and the Congdons. But she’s remembered today because of her unintended role in a JFK conspiracy theory. Britt Aamodt has the story of Cicely’s friendship with Mary Pinchot Meyer.


MN90: The Presidential Game

MN90: The Presidential Game

Very few Americans will ever run for President of the United States. But Minneapolis adman Jack Carmichael wanted them to at least get a feel for the game of political campaigns. Britt Aamodt reveals the Minnesota origins of the 1967 board game Mr. President.


MN90: Easy Company’s Minnesota Men

MN90: Easy Company’s Minnesota Men

Stephen Ambrose’s book and the spinoff HBO series Band of Brothers told the story of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. But neither could include the story of every man who served in the company. Britt Aamodt has the story of the two Minnesotans from Easy and the book that finally tells their story.


MN90: Ranee Ramaswamy’s Minneapolis Dance Company

MN90: Ranee Ramaswamy’s Minneapolis Dance Company

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.


MN90: Todd Bol’s Little Free Library

MN90: Todd Bol’s Little Free Library

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.


MN90: The Minnesota Music Man and Charlie Manson

MN90: The Minnesota Music Man and Charlie Manson

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.


MN90: President Taft in Winona

MN90: President Taft in Winona

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.


MN90: Horsecars

MN90: Horsecars

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.


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