Social Studies

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Profiles of the American West: George Catlin - How the West is Fun

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George Catlin painted the American West, with a specific focus on the American Indians, being one of the few artists to paint their unique cultures and traditions.

Get Your Drums Right | Beat Making Lab

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A crash course in mixing tracks, recording sounds, and expressing your creativity through electronic music with the PBS Beat Making Lab DJs. Using local sounds from Senegalese musicians and sampling real Sabar drummer recordings, watch as these professional DJs transform a bland track into a colorful and exciting new beat. It's Mixing 101!

Elisa Korenne: Mail Order Bride

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Singer songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, MN writes original songs about historical people and events of the northern plains. One such figure is Rachel Calof. She traveled from Russia to North Dakota in 1894 as an immigrant homesteader and a mail order bride. Her story is a riveting and candid look at the hardships of life on the prairie.

Elisa Korenne: Sister Lumberjack

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Singer songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, Minnesota writes original songs about historical people and events of the northern plains. In 1893, northern Minnesota was experiencing a logging boom but it was a dangerous industry. Back then, health insurance was in the form of health tickets to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, MN. Sister Amata Mackett of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery sold these tickets to lumberjacks and quickly became know as Sister Lumberjack.

Elisa Korenne: Root Beer Lady

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Singer-songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, Minnesota, writes songs about unusual characters and obscure events in Minnesota history.

Theodore Burr

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Covered bridges once served as important arteries of trade and travel for early New Yorkers.  During the 18th and 19th centuries, one of the most promonent covered bridge designers in the Northeast was Theodore Burr.  He was an engineer, inventor and architect.

Eugene Zimmerman

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Throughout his career, Eugene Zimmerman created more than 400,000 drawings and sketches, he is well-known as a cartoonist and political satirist.

Elisa Korenne: Who was I

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Susan Frenier Brown was a mixed-blood Dakota Indian, and although she was surrounded by influential people who had an impact on politics in the mid and late 1800’s, her own identity and story has been somewhat lost to history. Minnesota musician Elisa Korenne explores this shadowy figure in her original song "Who Was I?"

Josh Groban | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring vocalist Josh Groban at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

The Curious Mister Catesby

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(00:55:28) In 1712, English naturalist Mark Catesby (1683-1749) crossed the Atlantic to Virginia. After a seven-year stay, he returned to England with paintings of plants and animals he had studied. They sufficiently impressed other naturalists that in 1722 several Fellows of the Royal Society sponsored his return to North America. There Catesby cataloged the flora and fauna of the Carolinas and the Bahamas by gathering seeds and specimens, compiling notes, and making watercolor sketches. Resources includes both volumes of the original book published in 1731. The books contain all his original art work of plant and wildlife specimens completed during his journeys.

Frankie Quimby of Sapelo Island | EGG: The Arts Show

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This video segment from Egg: The Arts Show presents a glimpse of the last island-based Gullah/Geechee community located on Sapelo Island. The original Gullah/Geechee were slaves. When slavery was abolished, the lands on the island were abandoned to the slaves. Frankie Quimby of the Georgia Sea Island Singers speaks of her pride for the island community and the importance of preserving the Gullah/Geechee culture. She also tells how the songs of the slaves also served as escape songs. For more about Sapelo Island, see “Ben Hall of Sapelo Island” and “Ronald Johnson of Sapelo Island.”

Clifton Suspension Bridge

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This video segment from Building Big highlights the Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of the earliest of its kind. Though it was completed in 1864, when pedestrians, animals, and horse-drawn carriages were its main forms of traffic, its iron chain-link cables and stone piers today carry four million cars and other vehicles a year.

We are the Music

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Explore the music and dance sequences of 11 cultural groups who have settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico over the past 700 years. These diverse communities include the Native Americans, Spanish, Mexicans, Crypto-Jewish, Celtic, German, Greek, Japanese, Tibetan, Sikh and the Central Americans. All performers and narrators in these segments are of school-age.

Tony Bennett | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring vocalist Tony Bennett at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

MN Original | Painter Dan Bruggeman

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Learn about how painter Dan Bruggeman is interested in the places between urban and suburban; landscapes which are uniquely American. His paintings portray vignettes where humans have altered the natural environment for entertainment purposes.

As a senior lecturer of studio art at at Carleton College, Dan Bruggeman’s work bridges together concepts of art, science and history.

For more MN Original resources, click here.

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