Back to Curious Minnesota

More from Curious Minnesota

Curious Minnesota
June 11
The Gunflint Trail in northern Minnesota, officially Cook County Road 12, began as a series of portages created by Native American people.

Did modern Minnesota roads evolve from Native American trails?

Some routes have been providing passage since long before the introduction of paved roads.
Curious Minnesota
June 9

Ask a question now: What are you curious about, Minnesota?

Help us answer questions that matter to you.
Curious Minnesota
June 4
The intersection of N. Washington and N. 2nd avenues in the North Loop neighborhood.

How did the North Loop neighborhood get its name?

Now one of the city's most popular entertainment destinations, its name has surprising transit origins.
Curious Minnesota
June 2
Howard O. Kelly of Minneapolis’ Civilian Defense Council inspects the 5,500-pound siren atop the Northwestern National Bank in 1943. This siren prec

Listen: Why does Minnesota test tornado sirens on the first Wednesday of the month?

Curious Minnesota podcast host Eric Roper discusses Civil Defense and the Cold War history of tornado sirens with writer Dave Kenney.
Curious Minnesota
May 28
Crowds gathered at Wold-Chamberlain Field in September 1930 for the arrival of famous French pilots. The welcome coincided with a dedication of the ai

From bankrupt racetrack to aviation hub — what remains from MSP Airport's early days?

Planes have been flying at MSP — formerly Wold-Chamberlain Field — for roughly a century.
Curious Minnesota
May 21
Why is there a new cellular pole in my Minneapolis neighborhood?

Why is there a new cellular pole in my Minneapolis neighborhood?

The transition to 5G wireless technology is having a visible impact on some city streets.
Curious Minnesota
May 14
The Grodnik Building, which now houses Loring Pasta Bar, on the corner of 4th Street and 14th Avenue SE in 1963. To its left is Dinky Town Dime variet

How did Dinkytown in Minneapolis get its name?

The unusual moniker for the commercial district near the University of Minnesota dates to the 1940s.
Curious Minnesota
May 7
Flecks of ore containing copper, nickel, cobalt, palladium, platinum and gold seen in core samples taken from around PolyMet property.

How much gold is hiding underground in northern Minnesota?

The precious metal has not been mined in Minnesota since the turn of the 20th century.
Curious Minnesota
May 6
Two technicians at the St. Bonifacius site check a Nike-Hercules missile in 1962.

Listen: Was Minnesota home to nuclear missiles during the Cold War?

Curious Minnesota podcast host Eric Roper discusses the 1950s initiative to install missile sites around the Twin Cities.
Curious Minnesota
April 30
Howard O. Kelly of Minneapolis’ Civilian Defense Council inspects the 5,500-pound siren atop the Northwestern National Bank in 1943. This siren prec

Why does Minnesota test tornado sirens on the first Wednesday of the month?

Siren testing began amid fears of a Soviet atomic bomb attack during the Cold War.
Curious Minnesota
April 23
The electric car charging stations at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, Minn.

Is Minnesota's power grid ready for widespread electric cars?

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity. Keeping them all on the road will require a lot of power.
Curious Minnesota
April 16
Farmers in Mapleton, Minn. harvest hemp for the first time in 1943.

Was Minnesota once home to U.S. government-sponsored hemp farms?

The controversial crop was at the center of a short-lived program during WWII.
Curious Minnesota
April 9
Erna Zahn, right, visiting Mount Rushmore with a friend in July 1934. George Washington’s head was the only completed portion of the monument.

Who is the oldest living person in Minnesota?

The oldest Minnesotan, a supercentenarian, is also one of the oldest living people in the United States.
Curious Minnesota
April 5
People walk across the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park.

Listen: Does the Mississippi River really begin at Lake Itasca?

Host Eric Roper digs into the science and history behind the Mighty Mississippi's headwaters.
Curious Minnesota
April 2
A double-decker streetcar operates in Excelsior in the early 1900s. These special cars were only run for several years.

Where did suburban streetcar lines run and why were they removed?

The expansive Twin Cities streetcar network once reached from Lake Minnetonka to Stillwater.
Curious Minnesota
March 26
The origin countries of Minnesota’s foreign-born population has changed significantly in the last three decades.

What are the top five immigrant groups in Minnesota?

The origin countries of Minnesota's foreign-born population has changed significantly in the last three decades.
Curious Minnesota
March 19
The Minneapolis skyline was locked in an hazy shroud in February 2021, as seen from the Stone Arch Bridge.

Is Minnesota cloudier in winter, or does it just seem that way?

Just last year, Minnesota recorded its gloomiest January in 57 years, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Curious Minnesota
March 17
Spring and fall, especially September and March, offer the best chances to see the northern lights here. 

What's the best place, time to see the northern lights in Minnesota?

Although the lights can be seen any time of year, spring and fall, especially September and March, are the best chances to see the northern lights in Minnesota.
Curious Minnesota
March 12
Despite visible slushy patches, two ice fishers took to Lake Hiawatha on Saturday, with temperatures in the 50s and open water across the lake.

How safe is it, really, to walk on Minnesota's iced-over lakes?

"The standard answer is, really, ice is never 100% safe," said a DNR recreation safety coordinator. And early- and late-season ice is the most unpredictable.
Curious Minnesota
March 8
Listen: Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?

Listen: Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?

Minneapolis' two primary train stations met very different fates in the 1970s.
Curious Minnesota
March 5
Minneapolis’ brand new Great Northern Depot in 1914, the year it opened.

Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?

Minneapolis' two train stations met very different fates in the 1970s.
Curious Minnesota
February 26
Because of Minnesota’s harsh climate, MSP is one of the busiest airports in the country for de-icing operations.

What happens to the de-icing fluid sprayed on planes at MSP airport?

Due to our cold winters, MSP is one of the busiest airports in the country for de-icing operations. Delta uses more than 1 million gallons of fluid each season.
Curious Minnesota
February 19
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell says he wants candidates who go into policing for the “right reason.”

What does it take to become a police officer in Minnesota?

In light of recent issues with police officer conduct, one reader wanted to know what kind of training law enforcement officers get in the state.
Curious Minnesota
February 16
Window glass for Ford cars built in St. Paul was made from sand mined 100 feet below the plant along the Mississippi River.

Listen: How Ford made millions of windows from St. Paul sand

For part of the 20th century, Ford Motor Co. relied heavily on sand mined from beneath its plant in St. Paul to make windows for its cars.
Curious Minnesota
February 12
Gov. Rudy Perpich gathered with residents and officials during the opening of I-35E near downtown St. Paul in October 1990.

Why does I-35E through St. Paul have a 45-mph speed limit?

The lower speed limit on the "35E Parkway" stems from a battle that began decades ago.