MN90: George Bonga: Minnesota's First Fur Trader

Half black, half Ojibwe, George Bonga was the first person of African descent born in what was then the territory of Minnesota in 1802. He was a fur trader and a treaty translator that forged vital relationships with both Europeans and Native Americans. Allison Herrera tells us more about his important role in Minnesota history.

MN90: Home of the Grange

When Oliver Kelley began farming in Minnesota during the mid-1850s, he was frustrated by the low status of farmers and the isolation of rural life. So along with six others, he started an organization called the Grange, which as MN90 Producer Andi McDaniel explains, changed agrarian life in America by bringing farmers together to socialize and advocate for themselves. Includes an interview with Bob Quist of Oliver Kelley Farm.

MN90: Honeywell's Hot Little Thermostat

The Honeywell round thermostat design is one of the most user-friendly and underappreciated appliance designs of all time. MN90 Producer Andi McDaniel explains what has made the “T86 Round” so popular and so enduring.

MN90: Honeywell's Hot Little Thermostat

The Honeywell round thermostat design is one of the most user-friendly and underappreciated appliance designs of all time. MN90 Producer Andi McDaniel explains what has made the “T86 Round” so popular and so enduring.

MN90: Inventing the Slider

MN90 producer Marisa Helms describes the life of Charles Albert Bender, born on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota and later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Includes an interview with Tom Swift, author of Chief Bender's Burden, published by the University of Nebraska Press, 2010.

MN90: Itchless Underwear

MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds

Minneapolis-based Munsingwear cornered the union suit market in the early 1900s and went on to become the largest underwear company in the world. MN90 producer Marisa Helms tells us that Munsingwear’s rise to under garment dominance all started with the invention of “itchless wool,” a revolution in its time.

MN90: Kiss Me, I'm Minnesotan

Archbishop John Ireland helped numerous Irish prosper in America and Minnesota. MN90 Producer Allison Herrera talks about the man behind the boulevard in St. Paul. Includes an interview with Ann Regan, author of Irish in Minnesota, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2002.

MN90: Minnesota's African-American Press

Minnesota has one of the more robust black newspaper scenes in the country. At one time, there were nearly one hundred. The oldest such newspaper is The Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, based in Minneapolis. As Allison Herrera points out, these newspapers not only informed African-Americans about news and culture of the day, they did it with literary flair.

MN90: Minnesota's Civil Rights Visionary

While Martin Luther King Jr. may be the name most people think of when they think of civil rights, there’s another seminal character in the story of equality in the U.S. MN90 Producer Andi McDaniel learns about Roy Wilkins, who grew up in St. Paul and attended the University of Minnesota.

MN90: Minnesota's Civil War Mettle

MN90 producer Marisa Helms describes the creation of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1861 and highlights its actions at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Includes an interview with Matthew Cassady of Historic Fort Snelling.

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