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15 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Why does Minnesota test tornado sirens on the first Wednesday of the month?
The monthly Wednesday tornado siren test, a Minnesota tradition, traces its origins back to 1950s fears of a Soviet atomic bomb attack. Writer Dave Kenney, who has researched Civil Defense in Minnesota, discusses how Minnesotans responded to an evolving international threat during the Cold War.LINKS:Why does Minnesota test tornado sirens on the first Wednesday of the month? (April 2021 Curious Minnesota Article)Civil Defense in Minnesota, 1950–1974 (written by Dave Kenney)
12 minutes | May 6, 2021
Was Minnesota home to nuclear missiles during the Cold War?
Fears of a Soviet attack during the 1950s spurred the federal government to install four missile sites around the Twin Cities. The "Nike-Hercules" nuclear warheads stored in those bunkers stood ready to take down Soviet bombers headed for the Twin Cities. Curious Minnesota host Eric Roper discusses the topic with reporter Michelle Griffith, a former Star Tribune intern who now works at the Fargo Forum newspaper.LINKS:Was Minnesota home to nuclear missiles during the Cold War? (April 2020 Curious Minnesota story)When nukes in a cornfield protected the Twin Cities from the Soviet UnionFormer Nike Hercules missile in St. Bonifacius stands as a reminder of the Cold War
16 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Does the Mississippi River really start at Lake Itasca?
The source of the Mississippi was a consequential mystery after the Revolutionary War. It remains hotly debated in some circles today. Connie Cox, the lead interpretative naturalist at Itasca State Park, discusses the history and science behind this issue with host Eric Roper.LINKS:Is Minnesota’s tiny Lake Itasca the true source of the Mississippi River?Could the Mississippi River actually begin in South Dakota?Minnesota History: Controversy at the Mississippi's headwaters
15 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?
The Great Northern Depot on Hennepin Avenue was a de facto welcome mat for Minneapolis for many years. Along with the Milwaukee Road Depot, it was the primary place people arrived in the city. So why was Great Northern torn down in 1978, while the Milwaukee Road Depot survived? Rail historian Aaron Isaacs joins host Eric Roper to discuss the history of the Depot and the decline of passenger rail travel in the 20th Century.Story and photo gallery
13 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
How Ford made millions of windows from the sand beneath St. Paul
For part of the 20th Century, Ford Motor Company relied heavily on sand beneath its plant in St. Paul to make windows for its cars. Host Eric Roper discusses that operation with reporter John Reinan.LINKS:John's Curious Minnesota story about the Ford Plant sand miningA timeline of St. Paul's Ford Plant operationsMade in St. Paul: Stories from the Ford Plant (Twin Cities PBS / Producer: Peter Myers)
14 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
How do cities make Mississippi River water safe to drink?
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul draw their drinking water from the Mississippi River. Curious Minnesota host Eric Roper paid a visit to Minneapolis’ water treatment campus in Fridley to understand the complex process that makes river water safe to drink.LINKS:Photo galleryArticle (published in October 2020)
11 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Will Minnesota join push toward a national popular vote?
A number of states have joined an effort that would effectively bypass the Electoral College in determining America's president. Those states have signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would commit their electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote. Will Minnesota participate? Reporter Torey Van Oot joins host Eric Roper to discuss the proposal. Read her story here. The reader question was inspired by a discussion on the New York Times' "The Daily" podcast, which you can listen to here.
14 minutes | Nov 9, 2020
Why do so many Twin Cities malls end in ‘dale’?
Malls ending in the suffix "Dale" are peppered across the Twin Cities. But why "Dale"? Reporter John Ewoldt joins us to discuss the history of the Dales, starting with the landmark mall that started it all — Southdale. Host Eric Roper and Ewoldt discuss how the vision of the Dayton Corporation reshaped retail in the region. Read John's story here.
10 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Why hasn't Minnesota passed the Equal Rights Amendment?
16 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
What's the latest we know about COVID-19's treatment, transmission?
0 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
When you flush a toilet in the Twin Cities, where does everything go?
13 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Do the things we recycle all actually get recycled in Minnesota?
21 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
How did Minnesota become one of the most racially inequitable states?
1 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
In wake of George Floyd's death, what does 'reforming' Minneapolis Police mean?
15 minutes | May 20, 2020
Why do so many Fortune 500 companies call Minnesota home?
10 minutes | May 6, 2020
How did Minnesota become the Gopher State?
17 minutes | Apr 24, 2020
Listener lightning round: 3 answers on history, geography, traditions of Minnesota
12 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
Why is Uptown south of downtown in Minneapolis?
19 minutes | Mar 19, 2020
What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic
15 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
How to see the northern lights
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