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Archive for May, 2013

A Short History of the Ford Plant

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

A Short History of the Ford Plant

A Short History of the Ford Plant by Brian McMahon is the newest title in our digital imprint, MHS Express. It examines the history of the former Ford Plant in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood from 1925 to 2011.

$1.99 E-book short, ISBN 978-0-87351-914-4, 20 pages
Minnesota Historical Society Bookstore, kindlenook, kobo, iTunes

We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

We Are Still Here

We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement is a new book with photos by Dick Bancroft and text by Laura Waterman Wittstock.

An exhibit based on the book opens this Thursday at Mill City Museum. Dick and Laura will talk about their book at the opening at 6:00 pm, and they’ll also present at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul next Tuesday, May 21, at 7:00 pm for this month’s History Lounge.

Photo by Dick Bancroft/We Are Still Here Photo by Dick Bancroft/We Are Still Here Photo by Dick Bancroft/We Are Still Here

Asian Flavors Documentary

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Asian Flavors Asian Flavors

Food, tradition, and culture make a home. Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, a new thirty minute documentary co-produced by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.

It’s hard to believe there was a time when you couldn’t go out for Chinese food in Minnesota, but there was—until brothers and entrepreneurs Woo Yee Sing and Woo Du Sing opened their Canton restaurant (later called “John’s Place”) in Minneapolis in 1883.

Culinary educator, chef, author, consultant and co-founder with Phyllis Louise Harris of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd., Raghavan Iyer narrates this documentary highlighting the exciting history and array of Asian food in Minnesota.

Profiles and interviews with chefs, restaurant owners, business owners, and culinary professionals include Supenn Harrison, founder of Sawatdee; Reiko Weston of Fuji Ya; Mhonpaj Lee and her mother May Yia Lee, operators of Mhonpaj’s Garden; Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola; Thom Pham; and Harry Singh.

Food connects homes left behind with where we live today. Asian Flavors is the story of adventurous people who made the arduous journey halfway around the world to live in Minnesota, fleeing oppression and persecution or in search of jobs and education, and who created new homes through food. Many cooks sought not only to make a living but also to preserve the memory of their homeland through the dishes set before family and patrons alike, to the great benefit of diners in the Twin Cities metro area.

Asian flavors have changed Minnesota’s tastes, just as the many, wide-ranging Asian cultural groups have reshaped the state’s history, culture, and communities.

The tpt broadcast schedule is as follows:

Premiere: Sunday May 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. on tpt’s Minnesota Channel (tpt MN)

Encore Broadcasts: Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM, 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM on tpt MN

About tpt’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships

TPT’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) is the local production division of Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul.  TPT MN partners with local non-profit, educational, governmental, and public service organizations to reach broader audiences throughout Minnesota. These partnership programs educate and inspire Minnesotans on important issues using tpt’s distinctive storytelling skills, television and multimedia resources.  Since its inception in 2003, tpt MN has created nearly 700 television programs and over 200 multimedia projects in partnership with over 235 non-profit and public service organizations. To view past tpt productions, visit

To learn more about tpt MN, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook, or visit their website at


Before Gatsby

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Guide to FSF\'s St. PaulSt. Paul Stories of FSF

The Great Gatsby is on the big screen, once again reminding us of the fabulous and tragic Jazz Age–and the author who was its best-known chronicler.

Minnesotans have a special connection to this famous American author: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s St. Paul is around us. The elegant neighborhoods where he grew up as “a poor boy in a rich town” are still the city’s finest, beautiful to discover and enjoy. And the best way to do that is with A Guide to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s St. Paul, by John J. Koblas. You can explore the neighborhoods that shaped him and provided the scenery and plots for many of his most successful short stories. Handy maps, 35 featured buildings, and notes on 71 others make for fascinating self-guided walking tours.

And then, with The St. Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Patricia Hampl and Dave Page, you can read many of those stories as well. Introduced with a graceful essay by Patricia Hampl, the book includes several of the Basil Duke Lee stories as well as some of Fitzgerald’s lesser-known classics. Brief introductions provide names and locations that you can find during your tour.

See the movie, read these books, and get to know the home-town author!

Minnesota American Indian Month E-book Sale

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

In recognition of Minnesota American Indian Month, we are pleased to offer 10 Native American history and culture e-books  for the special price of $3.99 each during the month of May. Load up your e-readers!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask Assassination of Hole in the Day cover Beloved Child phpUcPcXS Anishinaabe Syndicated

Honor the Grandmothers While the Locust Slept Dakota Philospher My Mother Is Now Earth Night Flying Woman

Also, for a list of related events in the Twin Cities, check out the City of Minneapolis’s American Indian Month Community Calendar.