Minnesota - Local History
Month-By-Month Gardening: Minnesota & Wisconsin: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year
Month-By-Month Gardening: Minnesota & Wisconsin
What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year
Paperback      ISBN: 1591865778

Never garden alone The Month-By-Month series is the perfect companion to take the guesswork out of gardening. With this book, you'll know what to do each month to have gardening success all year. Written by authors in your state, the information is tailored to the issues that affect your garden the most.

Fort Snelling at Bdote: A Brief History
Fort Snelling at Bdote
A Brief History
Paperback      ISBN: 1681340224

A primer on the complex and contested history of Minnesota's premier historical site.

Mark Rosen's Book of Minnesota Sports Lists: A Compilation of Bests, Worsts, and Head-Scratchers from the Worlds of Baseball, Football, Basketball, Ho
Mark Rosen's Book of Minnesota Sports Lists
A Compilation of Bests, Worsts, and Head-Scratchers from the Worlds of Baseball, Football, Basketball, Ho
Paperback      ISBN: 0760345805

Beloved sportscaster Mark Rosen presents a handpicked collection of fascinating sports memories from a range of athletes, journalists, and other prominent Minnesota voices. The Minnesota sports universe is filled with star players, memorable moments (good and bad), and controversial decisions that have long sparked debate and discussion among fans. In Mark Rosen's Book of Minnesota Sports Lists, local broadcasting legend Mark Rosen and co-author Jim Bruton present their own expert opinions and poll the biggest names from Minnesota and beyond to resolve those debates and provide the ultimate rankings of every sports question that the Minnesota fan has had to ask. No aspect of sport in Minnesota is left unturned, and Rosen includes the good, the bad, and the ugly from all levels of play: professional, college, high school, amateur, and recreational. Spanning the gamut of statewide sports - mascots, uniforms, sportswriters, movies and TV, sporting sites, and more - Rosen and Bruton explore the greatest on-field accomplishments, the biggest front-office gaffes, the forgotten heroes, the blown calls, and the scandals. Drawing from timeless Minnesota sports figures that include coaching legends, top athletes, journalists, and prominent public figures, the more than 100 lists included in Mark Rosen's Book of Minnesota Sports Lists will fascinate, infuriate, and invigorate Minnesota sports fans of all ages and passions.

Black White Blue: The Assassination of Patrolman James Sackett
Black White Blue
The Assassination of Patrolman James Sackett
Hardcover      ISBN: 0873518705

On May 22, 1970, responding to a bogus emergency call to help a pregnant woman, St. Paul patrolman James Sackett was killed by a sniper's bullet fired from a high-power rifle.

The white officer's assassination was the most shocking event in an era of shocking, racially charged events, punctuated by bombings at Dayton's Department Store and elsewhere, police harassment and shootings of young black men, an alleged hijacking plot, and random acts of urban violence. A once peaceful, close-knit community, St. Paul's Summit-University neighborhood had reached a boiling point, heated by racism and rage.

Award-winning journalist William Swanson masterfully walks the razor-edge between the grief and anger of a police force that lost one of its own and the deep-seated resentment and subsequent silence of a community that had many reasons not to trust the cops. Based on extensive interviews and archival research, Black White Blue recounts the details of one of the most extraordinary cold-case sagas in U.S. annals--a story featuring dozens of memorable characters, including a relentless "super cop," an aggregation of conflicted informants, and a haunted woman who grew old with a terrible secret. The case culminates with the controversial trials, decades later, of Ronald Reed and Larry Clark. Black White Blue is a powerful, true account of crime and punishment, time and memory, race, community, and personal relationships.

William Swanson is the author of Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson. He has written and edited for various publications in the Twin Cities and elsewhere for more than forty years.
Brave New Workshop: Promiscuous Hostility and Laughs in the Land of Loons
Brave New Workshop
Promiscuous Hostility and Laughs in the Land of Loons
Paperback      ISBN: 1626196869

In 1958, former circus aerialist Dudley Riggs opened a Minneapolis coffeehouse with a stage for performers and created an American comedic institution. What started as a way to draw customers on slow nights became the Brave New Workshop, a comedy theater sinking its satirical talons deep into the culture of Minneapolis-St. Paul for over half a century. This theater helped launch the careers of many talented performers, including satirist-turned-senator Al Franken and his Saturday Night Live partner in comedy, Tom Davis, as well as comedian Louie Anderson, Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, screenwriter Pat Proft of the Naked Gun films and many others. Author Rob Hubbard tells the story of the hilarity, irreverence and imagination of the Brave New Workshop--a funhouse mirror to the world around it.

"If you've lived in Chicago, you know what Second City is. If you've lived in the Twin Cities, you know what the Brave New Workshop is. Founder Dudley Riggs and the Brave New Workshop played a big part in my comedy career. Read the real history of this company and the actors and writers from it who have influenced comedy on television and the big screen for over 50 years."
- Louie Anderson
The Children of Lincoln: White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876
The Children of Lincoln
White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876
Hardcover      ISBN: 1517905281

How white advocates of emancipation abandoned African American causes in the dark days of Reconstruction, told through the stories of four Minnesotans


White people, Frederick Douglass said in a speech in 1876, were "the children of Lincoln," while black people were "at best his stepchildren." Emancipation became the law of the land, and white champions of African Americans in the state were suddenly turning to other causes, regardless of the worsening circumstances of black Minnesotans. Through four of these "children of Lincoln" in Minnesota, William D. Green's book brings to light a little known but critical chapter in the state's history as it intersects with the broader account of race in America.

In a narrative spanning the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the lives of these four Minnesotans mark the era's most significant moments in the state, the Midwest, and the nation for the Republican Party, the Baptist church, women's suffrage, and Native Americans. Morton Wilkinson, the state's first Republican senator; Daniel Merrill, a St. Paul business leader who helped launch the first Black Baptist church; Sarah Burger Stearns, founder and first president of the Minnesota Woman Suffragist Association; and Thomas Montgomery, an immigrant farmer who served in the Colored Regiments in the Civil War: each played a part in securing the rights of African Americans and each abandoned the fight as the forces of hatred and prejudice increasingly threatened those hard-won rights.

Moving from early St. Paul and Fort Snelling to the Civil War and beyond, The Children of Lincoln reveals a pattern of racial paternalism, describing how even "enlightened" white Northerners, fatigued with the "Negro Problem," would come to embrace policies that reinforced a notion of black inferiority. Together, their lives--so differently and deeply connected with nineteenth-century race relations--create a telling portrait of Minnesota as a microcosm of America during the tumultuous years of Reconstruction.

The Girl in Building C: The True Story of a Teenage Tuberculosis Patient
The Girl in Building C
The True Story of a Teenage Tuberculosis Patient
Paperback      ISBN: 168134095x

In October 1943, sixteen-year-old Marilyn Barnes was told that her recent bout of pneumonia was in fact tuberculosis. She entered Ah-gwah-ching State Sanatorium at Walker, Minnesota, for what she thought would be a short stay. In January, her tuberculosis spread, and she nearly died. Her recovery required many months of bed rest and medical care.

Marilyn loved to write, and the story of her three-year residency at the sanatorium is preserved in hundreds of letters that she mailed back home to her parents, who could visit her only occasionally and whom she missed terribly. The letters functioned as a diary in which Marilyn articulately and candidly recorded her reactions to roommates, medical treatments, Native American nurses, and boredom. She also offers readers the singular perspective of a bed-bound teenager, gossiping about boys, requesting pretty new pajamas, and enjoying Friday evening popcorn parties with other patients.

Selections from this cache of letters are woven into an informative narrative that explores the practices and culture of a midcentury tuberculosis sanatorium and fills in long-forgotten details gleaned from recent conversations with Marilyn, who "graduated" from the sanatorium and went on to lead a full, productive life.

Voices of Rondo: Oral Histories of Saint Paul's Historic Black Community
Voices of Rondo
Oral Histories of Saint Paul's Historic Black Community
Paperback      ISBN: 1517903432

In Voices of Rondo, real-life stories illuminate the northern urban Black experience during the first half of the twentieth century, through the memories and reflections of residents of Saint Paul's historic Rondo community. We glimpse the challenges of racism and poverty and share the victories of a community that educated its children to become strong, to find personal pride, and to become the next generation of leaders in Saint Paul and beyond.

Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound
Got to Be Something Here
The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound
Hardcover      ISBN: 0816632332

Beginning in the year of Prince's birth, 1958, with the recording of Minnesota's first R&B record by a North Minneapolis band called the Big Ms, Got to Be Something Here traces the rise of that distinctive sound through two generations of political upheaval, rebellion, and artistic passion.

Funk and soul become a lens for exploring three decades of Minneapolis and St. Paul history as longtime music journalist Andrea Swensson takes us through the neighborhoods and venues, and the lives and times, that produced the Minneapolis Sound. Visit the Near North neighborhood where soul artist Wee Willie Walker, recording engineer David Hersk, and the Big Ms first put the Minneapolis Sound on record.

Across the Mississippi River in the historic Rondo district of St. Paul, the gospel-meets-R&B groups the Exciters and the Amazers take hold of a community that will soon be all but erased by the construction of I-94. From King Solomon's Mines to the Flame, from The Way in Near North to the First Avenue stage (then known as Sam's) where Prince would make a triumphant hometown return in 1981, Swensson traces the journeys of black artists who were hard-pressed to find venues and outlets for their music, struggling to cross the color line as they honed their sound.

And through it all, there's the music: blistering, sweltering, relentless funk, soul, and R&B from artists like Maurice McKinnies, Haze, Prophets of Peace, and The Family, who refused to be categorized and whose boundary-shattering approach set the stage for a young Prince Rogers Nelson and his peers Morris Day, Andr Cymone, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis to launch their careers, and the Minneapolis Sound, into the stratosphere. A visit to Prince's Paisley Park and a conversation with the artist provide a rare glimpse into his world and an intimate sense of his relationship to his legacy and the music he and his friends crafted in their youth.

They Sang for Norway: Olaf Oleson's Immigrant Choir
They Sang for Norway
Olaf Oleson's Immigrant Choir
Paperback      ISBN: 168134047x

They were brothers from Norway's "Red County." One was a guerrilla leader, the other a president of a singing association. One emigrated to America, the other stayed home to fight for Norwegian independence. Both had an impact on their nation's history. This is the story of the one who left.

Olaf Martin Oleson was among the hundreds of thousands of Norwegians who emigrated to the United States during the nineteenth century. With strongly rooted connections to the homeland, Oleson settled in the Midwest and became a successful businessman, philanthropist, and politician. He also helped form influential organizations in his new land, including the Norwegian-American Historical Association and the Norwegian Singers' Association of America. With the choir group, Oleson shared songs of his native Norway throughout North America--while raising money to support the illegal army and new political party forming back home in the fight for liberation from Sweden.

In They Sang for Norway, Ane-Charlotte Five Aarset tells the story of O. M. Oleson--her great-grand-uncle--and his contributions to the politics and culture of two nations. It is an immigrant's tale, an exploration of Norwegian-American life, and the story of music's importance to a community and people.