EPISODE 4: A Concise History of Automaking in Minnesota

On today’s podcast, we explore the history of automaking in Minnesota. Give it a listen here and be sure to subscribe and rate on iTunes!

music—“Dill Pickles” courtesy of the Heftone Banjo Orchestra via the Free Music Archive

MINute Moment: The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Settlement Quarrel

map_of_the_usa_highlighting_the_twin_cities
One of the few pictures of the Twin Cities on the web, there’s a massive national bias against knowing we exist

The rivalry between Minneapolis and Saint Paul has long been documented, occasionally boiling over into spats between the two “twin” cities’ residents.

One long-simmering resentment centers around Saint Paul’s contention that its younger neighbor has encroached on its historic territory. Indeed, the “East Bank” portion of Minneapolis is physically disconnected from the rest of the city by the Mississippi River and contains many important landmarks, including the University of Minnesota and the increasingly popular Northeast neighborhoods.

Many Saint Paulites have fervently advocated for the river to act as a strict dividing line between the two cities, insisting that the East Bank should be returned to Ramsey County as this was Father Louis Hennepin’s original plan for the area. Their Minneapolitan counterparts, however, have acknowledged that while the area maintains historic ties to Saint Paul, that Minneapolis is the hotter city currently and has earned the right to encroach upon its older brother in the interest of pursuing luxury condo development that will attract affluent young people away from other American urban hotspots.

“I feel strongly for my family and friends in Prospect Park and Dinkytown and the struggles they endure every day to fit in”, says Bart Larson, a Como Park native. “Every time I visit them, the blue street signs without directional coordinates make my blood boil”.

“The sore losers on the wrong side of the river need to suck it up and deal with it”, Joan Anderson of Uptown notes. “Minneapolis is still riding strong on the wave of recognition it gained from being the silent character in the film Purple Rain; who wants to live in a city called ‘Pig’s Eye’ anyway?”

Some in the middle have advocated for a “two-state” solution which would merge Minneapolis and Saint Paul into one city, incorporating first-ring suburbs like Bloomington and Maplewood. Some have even suggested that the cities could function like New York City’s boroughs, maintaining county-based distinctions while being unified as one whole city. The proposed metropolis, Flyoveria, has several prominent supporters, including Bev Tyler, a former back-up dancer for the Revolution.

It could take many years until this solution gains strong traction, however, as fervent adherents of the twin-city schism insist that the split reinforces important cultural touchstones. “The Minneapolis-Saint Paul divide is one of the defining characteristics of this region”, says local historian and Plopkins Waste Disposal sanitation engineer George Gunderson. “Without it, what’s to distinguish us from Duluth, Rochester, or, I dare say it—Madison?”

 

EPISODE 3: Minnesota—The Cleanest State

Inspired by a recent Stuff You Should Know episode, we delve into the history of Minnesota portable waste solutions to learn one facet of what makes this state one of the cleanest. Give it a listen here!

Music courtesy Doctor Turtle (“It Looks Like the Future, but it Feels Like the Past”) via the Free Music Archive

Today’s MINute Moment: Brexit in Minnesota

Did you know that Brexit—the referendum cast to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union this past summer—was actually not the original Brexit?

That’s right—recently, an advisor to former UK Prime Minister David Cameron revealed to MINute that the name of Brexit was pilfered from a 1983 ballot initiative that would have allowed Brainerd and parts of Crow Wing, Cass, Itasca, and Koochiching counties to secede from the state of Minnesota in advance of joining Canada. The ballot only received 44 votes and accusations of voter fraud continue to this day; proponents of the fraud theory postulate that registered voters Steve Beaver and Janelle “Babe” Theblueox were in fact animals.

A separate ballot initiative the following year to rename Koochiching County to Vaginaching County, spearheaded by freelance journalist and part-time snowshoe repairman Martin Weiner, failed as well. Interestingly, Weiner did receive permission from his family to change his surname to Penis in 1989.

EPISODE 2: How White Bear Lake Got Its Name

A White Bear Lake local strips down the town’s history to its skivvies to uncover the truth behind its naming.

Give it a listen here and subscribe on iTunes, won’t you?

EPISODE 1: Minnesota’s Donald Trump

DONALD TRUMP wasn’t the first politician to use a certain slogan to promote his campaign ideals.

Our crack team of researchers peered into the mists of Minnesota history to uncover Dale Carlson, who ran for a county comptroller position in the 1990s, making it quite clear who he didn’t care for.

Give episode 1 a listen here and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Welcome to The MINute Podcast, the shortest, most content-rich history podcast out there!

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