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 1957, two polyethylene balloons, tethered to manned capsules, launched from Minnesota. The mission was to see how high-altitude flight impacted the human body. Britt Aamodt looks at the women behind Project Man High.
By 1913, Willa Cather had written two novels but had yet to break out. In the meantime, she wrote articles for McClure’s Magazine. Britt Aamodt has the story of Olive Fremstad, the opera diva from Minnesota, who, some say, inspired Cather’s third novel The Song of the Lark.
In 1937, if you visited a friend or family member at the University of Minnesota Hospital, you might have been tapped on the shoulder and asked, “Would you like to take a test?” Britt Aamodt has the tale of the 724 random hospital visitors who became the baseline “normal” group for a new personality test, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.
Dr. Janis Amutuzio started collecting stories about the possibility of life after death, though she didn’t know it yet, as a first-year medical intern in Minneapolis. Later, she would spend decades as a coroner—and collect more stories from families of the bereaved. Britt Aamodt tracks the genesis of Dr. Amatuzio’s 2004 book Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living from a Forensic Pathologist.
In 1954, Hugh Hall from Minnesota traveled west, to the University of Colorado – Boulder, for school. There he met Bob, a blond Californian who shucked the conservative dress of his peers in favor of Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. Britt Aamodt looks the trajectory of the two friends: one who became a broadcaster and the other among the biggest Hollywood stars of the 1970s.
Age thirteen, Marion Ross walked into her library in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and found a book that would change the course of her life. Britt Aamodt has the story of the actor who became Mrs. Cunningham on 1970’s sitcom Happy Days.
It was nearing four in the afternoon on the second day of battle at Gettysburg when John O. Dolson of Richfield, Minnesota, received his mortal wound. But how did this Yankee end up in a Confederate cemetery under a different name? Britt Aamodt investigates the mystery.
Maury Hurley wanted to make a career in films. So in 1972, he found himself directing his first feature about competitive snowmobiling in, of all places, Thief River Falls. Britt Aamodt looks at the making of It Ain’t Easy.