America has a fresh water problem. Here’s why.

America's fresh water is in danger. The Great Lakes hold roughly 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, and Lake Erie alone provides drinking water to more than 11 million residents in the United States. But serious water quality, access and infrastructure problems are threatening our fresh water future.

What is the Midwest?

Some distinctions are clear-cut: California is iconically West Coast, New York unabashedly screams East Coast and Mississippi just sounds right when said with a Southern twang. But move toward the middle of the U.S. and boundaries may not be as simple as you think.

How the Van Aken District Brought New Life to Shaker Heights: An Illustration Essay

The Van Aken District was once a glorified strip mall with more parking space than storefronts, but thanks to a strategic plan designed to help improve Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, the District has been revitalized into a vibrant, welcoming space for dining, shopping and community gatherings.

Speaking Chinglish in Milwaukee: How Heritage Languages Shape the AAPI Experience

Within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, language learning and bilingual fluency levels vary widely, affecting how AAPI individuals navigate the world and communicate with others.

Remembering Elektro, Mansfield and the “World of Tomorrow”

For nearly two decades, a futuristic robot and his robo-dog sidekick amazed the nation — a spectacular vision of the world to come. Then, they disappeared. Fast forward half a century and a basement, storage room and retired Westinghouse truck later, and Elektro and his pup reappeared, restored, in their birthplace of Mansfield, Ohio.

Resettlement to Revitalization: Toledo’s History of Immigration

Between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of rapid growth for Toledo, immigrants played an essential role in building Toledo’s economy, infrastructure, cultural heritage and even ecological landscapes. Today, as Toledo works to revitalize its economy and overcome ongoing trends of depopulation, looking to the past may provide valuable insights. If immigrants built Toledo yesterday, could they rebuild it today? This article is the first in a series titled “Resettlement to Revitalization,” which explores the past, present and future of immigration to the city.

How Climate Change is Transforming how the Midwest Farms

Across the United States, and particularly in the Midwest, a multitude of industries depend on the agricultural success of the nation’s farmers. Climate change is altering how farmers have to approach their jobs by causing irregularity in a crucial resource: water.

Building the Midwest’s Carbon-free Future with Nuclear Energy

llinois has a long history of nuclear energy development, innovation and research. In 2021, researchers and engineers throughout the region say new, safer nuclear technologies will be essential to decarbonizing the American energy system. True to its past, Illinois is playing a leading role in the development and deployment of these new technologies, this time with a focus on addressing the climate crisis.

The Politics of Midwestern Identity & Racial Divides

As protests and unrest continue, Midstory considers the Midwestern identity and the role the region has historically played in civil rights progress.

How Wisconsin Ginseng Became a Globally Coveted Commodity

Wisconsin is the number one producer of ginseng in the U.S. with ginseng products that are coveted nationally and internationally. The healing herb highlights the unique commercial and cultural interconnectedness of Asian communities across the globe with communities in the rural Midwest.

Bollywood, Hollywood and the Globalization of Socially-conscious Film: A Review of 3 Idiots

Amidst ever-increasing globalization, American audiences are slowly beginning to recognize international film industries, as evidenced by South Korea’s Parasite (2019) being the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. As production companies pull rights for their content to start their own streaming services, platforms like Amazon Prime Video have found competitive avenues through hosting international films and television (think K-drama and European crime shows), opening up accessibility to global film industries.

Hidden in Plain Sight the GBS
The Quiet Revolution of Midwestern Speech

For decades, the Midwest was the example of perfect, accent-less English. Now, increasing dialectic quirks are changing that perception, and with it, Midwestern identity.

South to Midwest: My Grandfather’s Great Migration

Through conversations with her grandfather, the author unpacks his personal history during the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration—one that paved the way for generations to come. Read his story and listen to excerpts from the interview.

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The path that brought us to Toledo was a winding one. In a way, you could say that we were brought here by the birth of our first child. Our beautiful baby girl was born on the evening of August 20th, 2016 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

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Kao Kalia Yang’s Journey as a Hmong American Author

Last summer, when Sunisa Lee won the women’s all-around title at the Olympics, Minnesotans roared with tearful joy, and a simple — perhaps tardy — question emerged on Google: What is Hmong?

Man Versus Nature? How Humans Have Shaped the Indiana Dunes

Henry Chandler Cowles first stepped foot on the dunes of Indiana in the late 1800s while working on his dissertation for the University of Chicago. Studying the landscape, he noticed a progression in plant maturity that moved from the coast inland: barren sands became dotted with grass, and then shrubs and eventually forests. There, at the Indiana Dunes, Cowles...

Cincinnati, Ohio: A Climate Haven?

From severe heat waves and wildfires to violent flooding and tropical storms, it is no secret that climate change has been waging its world war with ever-increasing intensity. In the U.S., some coastal and Southern states are especially vulnerable.  California, for example, faces threats from both coastal flooding and wildfires, with high wildfire potential days increasing from 120 each year...

Hooked on Seafood, the Midwest Is Balancing Quality and Sustainability

Since 1989, Bill Dugan has been running one of two freestanding fish markets in Chicago.   The Fishguy Market aims to provide fresh seafood to the surrounding community, with selections changing almost every day. Dugan said he’s built a sizable consumer following over the years, while also supplying top chefs and restaurants around Chicago. Sourcing from trusted providers and selling fish...

The Mystery of Blue Moon Ice Cream

Blue moon ice cream, identifiable by its tongue-staining, Smurf-blue hue, is nothing if not a mystery.  “It seemed so strange,” Nara Schoenberg, the journalist who wrote the first investigative article on blue moon ice cream in 2007, said. “Most ice creams fit a pattern — chocolate, vanilla, even sorbets or cotton candy, you can see where it came from.”  But blue moon is...

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Latest COVID-19 Updates

As Minnesotan lakes lose up to three weeks in their ice season, outdoor recreationalists, anglers and the fish population are experiencing significant disruptions.
https://www.midstory.org/minnesotas-ice-season-is-shrinking-impacting-people-and-fish-alike/

The village of Elsie, Michigan has a tradition of dairy farming and the cow statue to prove it.
https://www.midstory.org/cow-culture-and-the-elsie-dairy-festival/

In 1942 in a lab beneath the bleachers of the University of Chicago’s football field, Enrico Fermi and a team of scientists set the first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction into motion. Today, Illinois remains a leader in nuclear energy.
https://www.midstory.org/building-the-midwests-carbon-free-future-with-nuclear-energy/

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