History Revealed Online

Join us for virtual History Revealed presentations by authors, historians, and archeologists from throughout the Twin Cities and beyond while we all practice social distancing.

To purchase books, please contact our partner, Subtext Books for online ordering or curbside pickup.

All video and posts shared by permission.

History Revealed & Special Presentations Online

Somewhere in the Unknown World: A Collective Refugee Memoir
Kao Kalia Yang
with Saymoukda Duanphouxay Vongsay, Thet-Htar Thet, Sangay Taythi and Najaha Musse
Thursday, January 7, 2021, 7:00 pm
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/FzHJsrG6stY
Ramsey County Historical Society, in partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
As the country’s doors were closing and nativism was on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang—herself a refugee from Laos—set out to tell the stories of the refugees to whom University Avenue is now home. Here are people who have summoned the energy and determination to make a new life even as they carry an extraordinary burden of hardship, loss, and emotional damage. In Yang’s exquisite, poetic, and necessary telling, the voices of refugees from all over the world restore humanity to America’s strangers and redeem its long history of welcome.

Turnout: Making Minnesota the State That Votes
Joan Anderson Growe and Lori Sturdevant
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 7:00 pm
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/J_VhOblAEEU
Ramsey County Historical Society in partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
Joan Anderson Growe, the architect and chief promoter of Minnesota’s high voter turnout tells her story, showing how hard work and cooperation made the state a leader in clean, open elections. High voter turnout in Minnesota is no accident. It arose from the traditions of this state’s early Yankee and northern European immigrants, and it has been sustained by wisely chosen election policies. In inspiring and often funny prose, Growe recounts the events that framed her life and changed the state’s voting practices during her twenty-four-year tenure as Minnesota Secretary of State. Joan Growe and co-author Lori Sturdevant will discuss the book and Ms. Growe’s time in office with a talk that is part political history and part memoir, and a reminder to Minnesotans to cherish and protect their tradition of clean, open elections.

Sinclair Lewis, His Life, Work and Relevance
Patrick Coleman
Thursday, November 19, 2020, 7:00 pm
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/9nTUmy8UbMk
Ramsey County Historical Society, in partnership with the Roseville Library.
Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street turned 100 years old this October. It was a publishing phenomenon that changed American Letters forever. In recognition of that event, and to acknowledge this most famous son of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society will open an exhibit on Lewis, aiming for April 2021. Patrick Coleman has been working on that exhibit and will share some of his thoughts on Lewis’s life and writings. Coleman believes that there are still many rewards and lessons to be found in Lewis’s writings that are pertinent to many of the issues that we face today, and that Lewis’ writings are more important than ever.

Democracy on Hold: Minnesota during the Great War
Greg Gaut
Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 7:00 pm
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/DDutqnC7rgc
A special Armistice Day/Veterans Day program presented by Greg Gaut and sponsored by the Ramsey County Historical Society and the East Side Freedom Library.
When thousands of Minnesotans went to Europe to “make the world safe for democracy” in WW I, the legislature created the Minnesota Commission of Public Safety to govern the state for the duration of the war.  Led by John McGee, a conservative lawyer, it crushed any form of dissent, labor organizing, or German cultural expression. McGee organized the Home Guard as the commission’s main enforcement arm. Minnesota’s home front experience reminds us how easily “America first” patriotism can evolve into a dangerous, intolerant nationalism, how fragile civil liberties and the rule of law are in periods of great polarization.

Women’s Suffrage in Minnesota
Kate Roberts
Thursday, October 22, 2020, 7:00 pm
In partnership with the Roseville Library
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/s1E4XQy64Gs
Kate Roberts, Senior Exhibit Designer at the Minnesota Historical Society, shared some of the history of suffrage and suffragists in Minnesota and how our voting rights continue to expand – and be challenged – today. The passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 expanded voting rights for women and opened up an entire new century of civic engagement.
This program is part of the RCHS exhibition, Persistence: The Struggle for Suffrage and Equality, 1848-2020.

Persistence: Continuing the Struggle for Suffrage and Equality, 1848-2020
Exhibition Rollout & Fall Annual Celebration

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 6:00-8:00 pm
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/GBY1xbsUXI8
The RCHS exhibition: Persistence: Continuing the Struggle for Suffrage and Equality, 1848-2020, recognizes the champions at all levels of work who struggled to achieve voting rights for women in Minnesota, and whose example still serves activists in our community today. We commemorated these women and their work in Ramsey County and their contributions to American history and to the rights of women with a special online celebration.
This program is part of the RCHS exhibition, Persistence: The Struggle for Suffrage and Equality, 1848-2020

Suffrage at 100: Women in American Politics since 1920
Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow
Thursday, October 1, 2020, 7:00 pm

In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library.
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/Su9XsZ-PUkY
Editors & authors Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow discussed their book, Suffrage at 100, which looks at women’s engagement in US electoral politics and government over the one hundred years since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
This program is part of the RCHS exhibition, Persistence: The Struggle for Suffrage and Equality, 1848-2020.

101 Years of The Sterling Club: A Window into the Black Experience in Minnesota
Jeremiah Ellis, with special guest Former Sterling Club President Levi Brady
Thursday, September 24, 2020, 7:00 pm
In partnership with the Roseville Library
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/lzBAFMi8zr4
Historian and author Jeremiah E. Ellis presented the history and the stories behind the Sterling Club, an African-American club in Saint Paul that recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. Jeremiah Ellis shared the Club history, some of the more recent activities and connected the history to experiences of being a Black man in Minnesota. Jeremiah Ellis was joined by Sterling Club’s Former President, Levi Brady.

Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities
Bill Lindeke & Andy Sturdevant
September 17, 2020, 7:00 pm
In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/8wJ0vXMaLKM
An entertaining journey into the highs, lows, bright spots, and dark corners of the Twin Cities’ most famous and infamous drinking establishments—history viewed from the bar stool. Bill Lindeke and Andy Sturdevant dived into tales from famous and infamous drinking establishments from throughout Twin Cities history, a multi-generational pub crawl through speakeasies, tied houses, rathskellers, cocktail lounges, gin mills, fern bars, social clubs, singles bars, gastropubs, and dives, featuring beloved bars and saloons.

Connemara Irish: Despair in the Heartland
Jane Kennedy
Thursday, August 27, 2020, 7:00 pm
In partnership with the Roseville Library
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/jC1EBfN-s5M
When people living in the Connemara region of Western Ireland were offered assistance to escape from the ravages of famine and disease, they knew little about their new homeland but believed they would find hope and happiness in America. Frail and hungry, they traveled over 3,700 miles to reach their destination, a prairie that scarcely resembled their homeland. While trying to settle and begin earning a living, within months they would encounter one of the worst Minnesota winters ever recorded. The Connemaras’ story, similar to that of many other immigrants, is one of despair, struggle and ultimately perseverance.

Council Chamber Artwork Presentation Event
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/DQkQTUHodLw
Presentation of the artwork for the Ramsey County Courthouse/Saint Paul City Hall Council Chambers, August 19, 2020. RCHS thanks the artists, the Art Selection Task Force, Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul for assisting with this project. Video produced by the City of Saint Paul Office of Technology & Communications. For full artists’ statements (English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish), artists bios, background info and more, see https://www.rchs.com/news/council-chamber-art-project/

Black Women’s Struggle for the Right to Vote
A Conversation with Dr. Martha S. Jones
Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 7:00 PM
In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ric3Go2WQ4
In Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, Martha Jones challenges the standard story that the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. She details how African American women defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all people.
This program is part of the RCHS exhibition, Persistence: The Struggle for Suffrage and Equality, 1848-2020.

History Revealed: Recent Archaeology Findings In Ramsey County: Public Digs with the Metro County Historical Society Collaborative
Dr. Jeremy Nienow with Bob Jensen, Maplewood Historical Society
Online Event – Zoom
Thursday, July 24, 7:00-8:00 PM
In partnership with the Roseville Library
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/9V1ScdEQTrE
Archaeologist Jeremy Nienow will discuss some of the findings from recent archaeological digs at sites throughout Ramsey County, a project of the Metro County Historical Society Collaborative, a group of historical societies from throughout the Metro area including the Ramsey County Historical Society, the Maplewood Area Historical Society and others. Dr. Nienow was joined by Bob Jensen of the Maplewood Area Historical Society.

Thursday, July 9, 7:00-8:30 pm
Exploring the Historical Roots of Racism in Minnesota
Panel Discussion with Martin Case, William Green and Christopher Lehman
In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library and Minnesota Historical Society Press.
Premiere on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EastSideFreedomLibrary/videos/904936243330741/ YouTube: https://youtu.be/OK64iOMWcQg
A fascinating discussion moderated by Peter Rachleff of the East Side Freedom Library, with Martin Case, author of The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became US Property; William Green, author of  The Children of Lincoln: White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876, (winner of the 2020 Hognander Minnesota History Award); and Christopher P. Lehman, author of Slavery’s Reach: Southern Slaveholders and the North Star State.
See below for past History Revealed presentations and Youtube videos from the authors.

Thursday, June 4, 7:00-8:00 pm
Grocery Activism – virtual book launch event with author Craig Upright on Facebook
In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
Premiere of Grocery Activism, you can watch it here: Youtube video from June 4, 2020
Craig Upright discussed his new book, Grocery Activism with Peter Rachleff from the East Side Freedom Library, and how the history of food coops is pertinent to food supplies and distribution today.

Yuichiro Onishi, Transpacific Antiracism 
Youtube Video from February 10, 2020
In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library
 By studying anti-imperialist movements since World War I in three different places — the United States, Japan, and Okinawa — Transpacific Antiracism examines the underlying aspirations of multiple oppressed peoples, and their efforts to develop emancipatory ideas and connect themselves in their struggles for freedom, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.

Will Cooley, Moving Up, Moving Out: The Rise of the Black Middle Class in Chicago
Youtube video from January 9, 2020
Will Cooley discusses the damage racism and discrimination have exacted on black Chicagoans in the twentieth century, while accentuating the resilience of upwardly-mobile African Americans.

Christopher Lehman, Slavery’s Reach: Southern Slaveholders in the North Star State
Youtube video from December 11, 2019
From the 1840s through the end of the Civil War, leading Minnesotans invited slaveholders and their wealth into the free territory and free state of Minnesota. Dozens of southern slaveholders purchased land and backed Minnesota businesses.

Martin Case, The Relentless Business of Treaties
Youtube video from November 7, 2019
The story of “western expansion” is a familiar one: US government agents, through duplicity and force, persuaded Native Americans to sign treaties that gave away their rights to the land. In this book, for the first time, Case provides a comprehensive study of the treaty signers, exposing their business ties and multigenerational interrelationships through birth and marriage.

Megan Marsnik, Under Ground
Youtube video from October 5, 2019
Under Ground chronicles shootouts at labor rallies, guns transported to and from secret bunkers, fights in brothels, police corruption, xenophobia, and false imprisonment. It features a cast of historical figures including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Mother Jones, Big Bill Haywood, and socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs. It is about courage and consequences. This novel is told from the perspective of a strong, immigrant woman.

William Green, Children of Lincoln
Youtube video from September 6, 2019
Framed around four white advocates of African American rights in Minnesota, The Children of Lincoln reveals a little known but critical chapter in the state’s history as it intersects with the broader account of race in America. It reveals a pattern of racial paternalism, describing how even “enlightened” white Northerners would come to embrace policies that reinforced a notion of black inferiority.

Panel & Readings: Queer Voices
Youtube video from August 6, 2019
Since its beginnings in 1993, the Queer Voices reading series has featured both emerging and established Minnesota-based writers of the LGBTQIA+ community. With a track record of more than twenty years, the series has become a national model and one of Minnesota’s most important literary institutions. It is reputed to be the longest-running curated queer reading series in the country. Readings by contributors Stephanie Chrismon, Bronson Lemer, Nasreen Mohamed, Michael Kiesow Moore, and William Reichard.

Greg Gaut, Reinventing the People’s Library
Youtube video from July 19, 2019
Honorable Mention in the Books category of the Gebhard Award, a bi-annual recognition of Minnesota architectural history research by the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (MNSAH), Reinventing the People’s Library traces the history of the Arlington Hills Public Library, one of the branches of the St. Paul Public Library funded by Andrew Carnegie, and its reinvention as the East Side Freedom Library.

Krista Finstead Hansen, Cultures Coming Together in St. Paul: 100 Years of Immigration and Resettlement
Youtube video from June 9, 2019
In 2019, the International Institute of Minnesota is celebrating 100 years of service to the existing ethnic groups and new groups of refugees, immigrants, and asylees in our community. By uncovering the history of this non-profit agency, historian Krista Finstad Hanson will shine a light on the history of immigration to St. Paul, the worldwide crises and US government policy behind the waves of new immigrants or refugees, and the impact immigration has had on our community.

Melvin Carter Jr. & Marvin R. Anderson, Diesel Heart
Youtube video from May 9, 2019
Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr., the father of St. Paul’s current mayor, is a true son of Rondo, the city’s storied African American neighborhood. Diesel Heart is the story of a leader who created a powerful family legacy by standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. Marvin R. Anderson joined Melvin Carter in an informal, engaging and enlightening conversation, sharing Mr. Carter’s story and the history of a neighborhood and a city during a turbulent time.

Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Modern Bonds
Youtube video from March 12, 2019
What does “community” mean and how did it come to signify everything from close friends to the entire world? Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello returns to St. Paul to talk about her new book, Modern Bonds: Redefining Community in Early Twentieth Century St. Paul, which considers how community was reconceptualized in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Other Partner Programs

Curt Brown, Minnesota 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State
Facebook Live video presentation sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society
Author Curt Brown shares histories, the human stories, and how people in Minnesota persevered from his book, Minnesota 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State when the Spanish flu epidemic, the First World War and northeastern Minnesota fires devastated our state over 100 years ago.