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.
October 1980 – Bruce Springsteen needed to chill. He was in Minneapolis on a tour for The River. But the hotel walls were closing in. So he went to Jay’s Longhorn to play pinball—but was drawn in to the Minnesota group The Suburbs jamming in the next room. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
April 1988 – Sharon Gless didn’t know why she was in Minnesota. The character she played in the CBS cop show “Cagney & Lacey” had a drinking problem. She didn’t. But here she was in Center City at Hazelden. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
March 16, 1862 – Six officers from the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment posed at their winter camp in Virginia. Matthew Brady, or one of his assistants, took the immortal shot of men during a lull in the bitter Civil War. Of the six, only three would live to return home. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
August 1990 – 3M was a quintessential Minnesota company known for products like Scotchgard and PostIt Notes. So why was it embroiled in a controversy over a billboard in West Hollywood criticizing North Carolina senator Jesse Helms? Here’s Britt Aamodt.
December 1935 – Life in Duluth was desperate for the Niemi family. Maila’s dad had lost his job on the Finnish paper. But the girl had the Sunday funnies and her imagination. In 1954, the grown-up Maila, now Maila Nurmi the actress, would create a character based, in part, on a character from the funnies and become the first creature feature host in TV history, Vampira. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
2008 – Bee Vang, the Minnesota teen who’d never acted in a film, was cast in “Gran Torino.” At the time, the Hollywood picture was touted for its Hmong-American cast. But years later, Vang would question the film’s groundbreaking status. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
Fall 1960 – All anybody wanted to talk about was the upcoming presidential election. That’s when John Steinbeck, author of classics like The Grapes of Wrath, hit the road with a camper and his dog Charley to see America, including Minnesota. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
By 1959, Arlene Dahl had been in movies for a decade. That summer, she found herself trekking a thousand feet underground to film scenes for what would become one of the biggest films of her career, and one of the most taxing to film, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
Through the 1960s, the Hesshaimer kids of Munich, Germany, looked forward to the irregular visits from the mysterious American businessman who was their mom’s special friend. Careu Kent was entertaining but secretive. Only after his death, did it come out that Kent was actually a world-famous Minnesota-born aviator and that he was more than a friend to them. Here’s Britt Aamodt.
August 1984, NBC was tossing around ideas for a new sitcom with a cast of older women. The senior characters were Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose. For seven seasons on The Golden Girls, Rose, played by Betty White, delighted viewers with whimsical stories from hometown St. Olaf, Minnesota. Here’s Britt Aamodt.