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May 6, 2020
How did Minnesota become the Gopher State?
Play • 10 min
More episodes from Curious Minnesota
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)
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 Union Former Nike Hercules missile in St. Bonifacius stands as a reminder of the Cold War
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 interpretive 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