Social Studies

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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: 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?"

Prairie Churches | Count Berthold von Imhoff (Part 1 of 2)

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Learn about a German immigrant artist, Berthold von Imhof, who began in eastern Pennsylvania, then moved to Saskatchewan, his base for work that spread to the Dakotas, Minnesota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Prairie Churches | Count Berthold von Imhoff (Part 2 of 2)

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Learn about a Roman Catholic, Berthold von Imhoff who painted for churches of many denominations, often donating his work and making each unique. 

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.

Lubin Photos | History Detectives

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History Detectives examines century old photos that may have captured the dawn of American movie-making--nearly 3000 miles from Hollywood. One of the books holds many Western scenes, including a cowboy character captioned, "Herbert Lubin." Other captions refer to the Siegmund Lubin Studios. Who was Siegmund Lubin? And was Herbie Lubin a movie star? History Detective Tukufu Zuberi goes on an excursion through an early movie mogul’s dramatic rise and fall.

Prairie Churches | Immigrant Church Artist

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Berthold von Imhoff graced more than 90 churches with his art, but St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Reading, Pennsylvania, may be his finest work. The prairie is dotted with unique and picturesque churches, many of which are in danger of being lost forever. Prairie Public’s documentary Prairie Churches preserves images of this priceless heritage and tells the story of Count Berthold von Imhoff, a painter whose artwork lends a unique beauty to 18 churches. Often the first community structure built, these landmarks represent the dreams of settlers who sought to forge future for their families. Prairie Churches explores the role churches played in sustaining the history and culture of the vanishing rural landscape. 

Prairie Churches | A Hammer and a Nail, A Shovel and a Pail

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Learn about Father Phillip Ruhe, self-taught architect, who was responsible for the building of over 40 churches, including the elaborate Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception at Cooks Creek, Manitoba, built over 22 years by volunteer hand labor.

Mills 50: Tien Hung Market l Vietnamese Orlando

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In the heart of Central Orlando is the Vietnamese Business District at Mills 50. One of the cornerstones is the Tien Hung Market, run by three generations of the Phan family. Explore how cultural traditions bind this community since fleeing Vietnam.  

Stephanie Murphy - US Congresswoman l Vietnamese Orlando

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Vietnamese immigrant and Central Florida resident, U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, shares the story of her path to the American dream.

Scandinavian Traditions | Lutefisk

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Traditional food and cooking methods 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.

VietNomz l Vietnamese Orlando

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New Country, New Culture! Central Florida embraced immigrants fleeing Vietnam after the war. Learn how Philip Nguyen and his family have bridged Vietnamese cuisine into the heart of Orlando.

The Germans from Russia | Living and Working

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Learn how the Germans from Russia settled across America, but many found home in what came to be known as the German triangle which spanned across Manitoba and the Dakotas. The Germans were given land under the homestead act which led them away from living in villages, which they had grown accustomed to in the "old" country. Having to live so far from their neighbors caused isolation and many looked forward to visiting day. They were strong people who had inhabited land much like the land they had left, full of fierce winters, a place where "wind was always in the grass" and the fields were filled with stones.

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