82 episodes

What do you wonder about the people, places and culture of Minnesota? Listen to our community-driven reporting project, which invites listeners to ask questions that our newsroom researches and answers.

Curious Minnesota Star Tribune

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 200 Ratings

What do you wonder about the people, places and culture of Minnesota? Listen to our community-driven reporting project, which invites listeners to ask questions that our newsroom researches and answers.

    What does it mean when Minnesota courts sentence offenders to 'the workhouse'?

    What does it mean when Minnesota courts sentence offenders to 'the workhouse'?

    It's not uncommon in Minnesota to see a news story about someone being sentenced to "the workhouse." But what is a workhouse? It turns out Minnesota is one of the only states still using this term, which describes unique facilities that are neither jails nor prisons. Reporter Kim Hyatt joins host Eric Roper to talk about what happens in a workhouse, who is sentenced there and the long history behind these correctional facilities.
    LINKS:
    What does it mean when Minnesota courts sentence offenders to 'the workhouse'? (February 2023 Curious Minnesota article)

    • 20 min
    What is Minnesota's deepest lake?

    What is Minnesota's deepest lake?

    Sometimes, what seems like a simple question unravels into something much more complex and surprising than we expected. That was the case with the question behind today's episode, regarding the deepest lake in Minnesota. Reporter Chloe Johnson and graphics artist Jake Steinberg join host Eric Roper to discuss their reporting journey to find which lake dips the lowest.
    LINKS:
    What is Minnesota's deepest lake? (November 2023 Curious Minnesota story)

    • 15 min
    How did Minnesota become the nation's top turkey state?

    How did Minnesota become the nation's top turkey state?

    Minnesota has been a national leader in turkey production since the 1950s, and No. 1 for the last two decades. That wouldn't have been possible without collaboration between farmers and researchers at the University of Minnesota. Christopher Vondracek joins host Eric Roper to discuss how Minnesota became such a turkey powerhouse.
    LINKS:
    How did Minnesota become the nation's top turkey state? (November 2023 Curious Minnesota article)

    • 16 min
    How much flour would it take to turn Lake Superior into bread?

    How much flour would it take to turn Lake Superior into bread?

    Our winning question from the State Fair required some serious mathematics to answer. But the bakers at Duluth's Best Bread were up to the challenge. Reporter Christa Lawler joined host Eric Roper to discuss the logistics behind the Lake Superior Loaf.
    LINKS:
    How much flour would it take to turn Lake Superior into bread? (October 2023 Curious Minnesota article)
    MetaFilter thread about the article

    • 11 min
    Did teenagers 'riot' when the Beatles stayed in downtown Minneapolis in 1965?

    Did teenagers 'riot' when the Beatles stayed in downtown Minneapolis in 1965?

    The Beatles' 1965 concert in Bloomington was a memorable evening for many young fans. But that event was just the beginning of a long night for some ardent followers of the Fab Four. Reporter Zoë Jackson joins host Eric Roper to discuss what happened in downtown Minneapolis after the show.
    LINKS:
    Did teenagers 'riot' when the Beatles stayed in downtown Minneapolis in 1965? (June 2023 Curious Minnesota article)
    Minneapolis police press conference about the Beatles

    • 14 min
    Did a Nazi sympathizer once represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate?

    Did a Nazi sympathizer once represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate?

    Ernest Lundeen spent three decades trying to succeed in Minnesota politics. But it was his final years as a U.S. Senator representing the state that have defined his legacy, since Lundeen was spreading Nazi propaganda in the runup to America's intervention in World War II. Kevin Duchschere discusses his Curious Minnesota article on Lundeen with host Eric Roper.
    LINKS:
    Did a Nazi sympathizer once represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate? (February 2023 Curious Minnesota story)

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
200 Ratings

200 Ratings

SirPurgealot ,

Such a fun show… but it’s not over, is it?

There’s so much to learn about our great state. Love the variety and approachable nature. Please say it isn’t over!

Goranger22 ,

Learning a lot

Thanks for the stories and the question you’re answering to help us understand Minnesota more.

consciousdave ,

Great show on Minnesotan history

There aren’t a ton of other shows on Minnesota history specifically, so really appreciate this one. Normally not a huge fan of the star tribune but they did good here. They usually elicit topics to cover from listeners which is pretty cool cuz they always end up being fascinating. And since this is a newspaper, they typically have good sources to provide input

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