Everyone knows about the Midwest, right? It's the place you fly over on your way from coast to coast. It's the home of cows and Cheeseheads, and really nice people who say "ya hey" a lot. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, what "Fargo" doesn't tell you. Also, how a regional flood shaped the future of the nation.
John Barry, author of "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It changed America" tells Jusith Strasser that the flood had a profound impact on race relations in the South and increased the Black migration to the north. It also caused the U.S. Government to reverse its flood control policies.SEGMENT 2:
Historian Jon Gjerde talks with Steve Paulson about the early settlement of the Midwest by immigrant farmers who clung to their native customs, religion and language. Gjerde teaches at the University of California, Berkeley and is the author of "The Minds of the West: Ethnocultural Evolution in the Rural Middle West, 1830- 1917." Also, Ruth Coniff grew up in the Midwest then went back East for college and is now Washington correspondent for The Progressive magazine. She talks with Jim Fleming about other people's stereotypes of the Midwest, and those good, sweet Midwesterners. And there's a bit of "Fargo" to get us all into the right mood.SEGMENT 3:
Jan Grover's mother came from the Midwest, but Jan grew up in San Francisco where she spent several years caring for AIDS patients in the early years of the epidemic. She sought solace in the North Woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota, where she found significant environmental degradation. She makes connections between the two environments in her book "North Enough: AIDS and Other Clearcuts," and in this conversation with Judith Strasser.
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