Biewen’s audio documentary: “Little War on the Prairie” – worth a listen.

Minnesota State Seal

I sometimes download podcasts of radio programs to listen to on the drive to and from Longwood.   This American Life: Little War on the Prairie was one I listened to this past week.  This one was a WOW!

John Biewen, who directs the audio program at The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, produced the program.   It ran on This American Life on Nov 23, 2012 – Thanksgiving weekend.  Didn’t hear it then – aren’t podcasts great!

The description from This American Life:
Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen says, nobody ever talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged after a war with white settlers. John went back to Minnesota to figure out what really happened 150 years ago, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it much after.

Besides making me sad, once again, at the way white Americans treated the indigenous peoples of this continent – it also made me rethink my Eastern Shore Stories project – what am I missing in the recounting of recent Eastern Shore history?   What questions have I allowed to go unasked?

And could this be a model for how to put Eastern Shore Stories together as an audio documentary?


2 thoughts on “Biewen’s audio documentary: “Little War on the Prairie” – worth a listen.

  1. This story moved me, as well. There is something comforting knowing that someone you know and care about has also heard, and also values, a story. In your case, it is as if it has opened the possibility of discovering that, underneath the painting you have known so well, there was another before it. I hope you are successful in uncovering it. Trudy

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