Social Studies

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Elisa Korenne: Hormel Girls

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In 1947, Jay Hormel founded the Hormel Girls to create jobs for women veterans of World War II and to promote Hormel products like Spam and Dinty Moore. The glamourous group of musicians and singers grew to include 60 members and was a top rated show on three national radio networks. The Hormel Girls are a true treasure of Minnesota history and an early symbol of the independent woman.

Scandinavian Traditions | Music and Tradition

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Traditional music and dance is one way that North Dakotans celebrate their Scandinavian heritage and find part of their own identity in their ethnic background. “No tree grows strong by cutting off its roots.” Understanding where we come from helps us know who we are. North Dakota’s largest demographic is people of Scandinavian descent. Many people in North Dakota are aware of their roots, know who they are, and take an active role in keeping those traditions alive.

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.

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?"

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Bill Patrie

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Learn how Bill Patrie, a North Dakota economic developer, looks for an anchor or signature building which personifies a community, has structural integrity, and is located in a town where residents believe in the future.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Dunseith

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The closing of the former San Haven Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1989 resulted in the loss of 400+ jobs. While efforts to rehab that beautiful building failed, it did result in attracting other businesses to replace the jobs in Dunseith, Rolla and Rolette.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Jamestown

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Trying to create an inviting downtown that draws residents and tourists alike, developers, including The Marcil Group, have led the way in rehabbing downtown buildings in Jamestown for a variety of uses. The Franklin School is a prime example of preserving an historic landmark building.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

Prairie Churches | Buildings are Total Sensory Experiences

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Hear how NDSU Architectural Historian Ronald L. M. Ramsay explains that some prairie churches are lean and spare, some ornate, but all are influenced by their immigrant congregations’ old country traditions. The story of St. Joachim Catholic Church, La Broquerie, Manitoba, illustrates the point.

Prairie Churches | Hope and Prayer

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Learn about the Viking Lutheran Church in Maddock, North Dakota. Dedicated in 1909 it was at that time the largest Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church between the Twin Cities and Seattle.

Indian Pride, Economic Development: Part 5

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Joe Garcia, a member of the San Juan Pueblo of New Mexico and president of the National Congress of American Indians, sings a traditional lullaby. 

Indian Pride: Myths and Real Truths | Part 4

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JuniKae Randall introduces Lefty's Little Steppers, dance group from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, demonstrate their craft.

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Crosby

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A large commercial building in Crosby, used primarily as a retail store, has been renovated for use as apartments, a hotel room, coffee shop, and other business space with minimal expense.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

Old to New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize | Grand Forks

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Like many cities, Grand Forks had seen a decline in activity and economic development in its downtown area during the 1960s and 1970s which was escalated by the devastating flood of 1997. Federal assistance and local restoration projects have revitalized the area by rehabilitating the buildings that could be saved.

For decades, “downtown” was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality. Seeking to reverse years of decline, visionaries are taking steps to revitalize their communities by rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize showcases some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders. As one rehab leader said, “Nothing’s ever going to be 200 years old, if you don’t let it get to be 100 years old.”

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