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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: A Druggist in a Time of Influenza

MN90: A Druggist in a Time of Influenza




James Douglas Falconer might have chosen to become a vet like his dad Thomas. Instead, the young man from Alexandria, Minnesota, trained as a druggist. September 1918, Falconer started his new job at Rexall Drug Store in Marshall—in the very month Spanish flu appeared in Minnesota. Suddenly, the 29-year-old found himself on the frontlines of an epidemic that had no cure. Yet that didn’t stop customers from lining up. Britt Aamodt has the story.

MN90: A Druggist in a Time of Influenza

MN90: A Druggist in a Time of Influenza

James Douglas Falconer might have chosen to become a vet like his dad Thomas. Instead, the young man from Alexandria, Minnesota, trained as a druggist. September 1918, Falconer started his new job at Rexall Drug Store in Marshall—in the very month Spanish flu appeared in Minnesota. Suddenly, the 29-year-old found himself on the frontlines of an epidemic that had no cure. Yet that didn’t stop customers from lining up. Britt Aamodt has the story.


MN90: Attacking an Epidemic without a Plan

MN90: Attacking an Epidemic without a Plan

In 1872, the Minnesota State Board of Health was created to coordinate sanitation and disease control statewide. And by 1918, the average lifespan for Minnesotans was inching up—until September when Spanish flu arrived. No one had anticipated an outbreak like this so there was no plan in place. Britt Aamodt has the story.


MN90: The Dance of Healing

MN90: The Dance of Healing

University of Minnesota professor Brenda Child heard a story growing up on the Red Lake reservation about a sick girl and the vision her father received of a dress and a dance that would—and did—heal her. Professor Child wanted to know if that story gave a clue to the origins of the Ojibwe jingle dress and dance of healing during the Spanish flu epidemic. Here’s Britt Aamodt.


MN90: A Nurse in the Spanish Flu Epidemic

MN90: A Nurse in the Spanish Flu Epidemic

September 16, 1918, Nora Emilie Anderson was embarking on the biggest adventure in her 37 years. The native of Rock Dell, Minnesota, was one of hundreds of nurses boarding a ship en route to the Great War in Europe. Unfortunately, a stowaway—Spanish flu—boarded with them. Here’s Britt Aamodt with Nora’s story.


The First Case of Spanish Flu

The First Case of Spanish Flu

September 1918, Marie Anderson Paulson of Wells, Minnesota, greeted the return of her 17-year-old son Raymond Paulson from training at Camp Oglethorpe, Georgia. He wasn’t feeling well. Headaches, body aches, fever. Britt Aamodt has the story of Raymond Paulson, the first known case of Spanish flu in Minnesota.


MN90: Ike’s Farewell Speechwriter

MN90: Ike’s Farewell Speechwriter

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.


MN90: The Pioneer Seedswoman

MN90: The Pioneer Seedswoman

Carrie H. Lippincott was merely looking for a way to support her mother, sister and brother-in-law. But out of necessity grew a flourishing seed business. Britt Aamodt reveals the Pioneer Seedswoman of America.


MN90: Mr. Cool

MN90: Mr. Cool

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.


MN90: Death by Hearse

MN90: Death by Hearse

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.


MN90: Kodiak Days

MN90: Kodiak Days

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.


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