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American Countryside contact information:
Andrew McCrea, American Countryside host
(816) 351-2165
andrew@andrewmccrea.com

Tom Brand, American Countryside producer
(816) 294-2381
nafbtom@gmail.com

 

January 28, 2022
28Jan22 Henry Wallace
This father and son pair both served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  The son even became vice president of the United States and made an unsuccessful bid for president.  Although it’s been over a half century since either was in office, their work can still be seen today…

January 27, 2022
27Jan22 Jesse James Train Robbery
Great train robberies are the stuff of wild west movies.  In real life though, the first such event occurred here.  Today we travel to the spot were an infamous gang pulled the rails and waited for a big pay day…

January 26, 2022
26Jan22 Iowa Aviation Museum 3
For the past few days we’ve taken a look back at a stop I made in Greenfield, Iowa, home to the Iowa Aviation Museum.  You probably never realized how many aviation firsts are tied to Iowa, including a car company that decided to try its hand at making airplanes.  Its unique vision is preserved here…

January 25, 2022
25Jan22 Iowa Aviation Museum 2
Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean.  But lost in our history books in the name of a man who would most likely have beaten Lindbergh to the prize, if not for a court case that kept his plane from taking off from the very same airport…

January 24, 2022
24Jan22 Iowa Aviation Museum 1
Today, aircraft carriers and the planes they transport play a vital role in country’s military might.  However, have you ever given any thought to the first brave soul that attempted to take off and land a plane aboard a boat?  It takes a courageous or perhaps very crazy individual to try it…

 

January 21, 2022
21Jan22 Mark Hall Patton
It was Ray’s first time in the Oval Office and he did not want to mess up his presentation.  He thought all was going well until the president made a move that seemed to indicate the meeting was coming to a swift end…

January 20, 2022
20Jan22 Ray Starling 3
It was Ray’s first time in the Oval Office and he did not want to mess up his presentation.  He thought all was going well until the president made a move that seemed to indicate the meeting was coming to a swift end…

January 19, 2022
19Jan22 Ray Starling 2
During the middle of the farm crisis in the 1980s, those in agriculture lobbied to have a full time staff member to advise the president of the United States on agriculture issues.  It was part of the farm bill, but that one measure almost caused the collapse of the entire legislation…

January 18, 2022
18Jan22 Ray Starling 1
Ray was expecting a call from a guy trying to sell him some firewood.  When an unknown number popped up on his cell phone he thought he’d just call back later as he was busy at the time.  Turns out someone else was calling.  It was the White House…

January 17, 2022
17Jan22 Las Vegas Endurance Plane 2
If you’ve ever flown into the Las Vegas airport, you may have noticed a colorful Cessna airplane hanging from the ceiling over the baggage claim area.  Most people think it’s just an interesting prop.  However it’s actually a world record holder, for no other manned airplane has ever remained aloft for more continuous days that this one…

 

January 14, 2022
14Jan22 Las Vegas Endurance Plane 1
What’s the longest time a plane has stayed in the air without landing and with the same two men at the controls?  Would you believe the record is over two months in a small Cesna aircraft…

January 13, 2022
13Jan22 Faribault Woollen Mill 3
There are only two vertical woolen mills remaining in the U.S.  One has been in this town since the days just after the Civil War.  Chances are, if you have one of their blankets you’ve kept it – they tend to last a lifetime and the tag on the throw has built a brand…

January 12, 2022
12Jan22 Faribault Woollen Mill 2
Paul Mooty says if he drove his own car one day back in 2011 down to Faribault, Minnesota, he might not be the owner of one of the town’s century old businesses.  That’s because five minutes into his tour he already knew he was not interested in the place, but since he road with someone else he could not leave.  And because he stayed, this mill stayed put as well…

January 11, 2022
11Jan22 Faribault Woollen Mill 1
Imagine a time when a horse walked a treadmill to help power the machines that produced wool blankets for early settlers in the days just after the Civil War.  This company traces its roots to that horse named Jenny and they still have the harness to prove it…

January 10, 2022
10Jan22 Chattanooga Battlefield 2
Imagine being a slave at the beginning of the Civil War only later to have an opportunity to join the Union army and fight back at those who enslaved you. It is here that former slaves joined men from the Union army to wage war in some of the most difficult terrain of the Civil War…

 

January 7, 2022
07Jan22 Chattanooga Battlefield 1
Today it is a beautiful city perched along the hills and rivers of southeastern TN. But during the Civil War, it was the focal point of intense fighting…

January 6, 2022
06Jan22 Luna Cafe 2022
In front of the Luna Café, on old route 66 near Mitchell, Illinois, you’ll find a beautifully restored neon sign…the bright lights include a drinking glass with a red cherry that lights up  it was a beacon for infamous characters and that lit cherry had extra meaning as well…

January 5, 2022
05Jan22 Turkey Tracks 2022
There is definitely an art to tracking and calling a wild turkey.  Jerry Law had no trouble tracking this turkey.   That’s because the turkey’s tracks have been here for nearly a century now.  In a moment we visit those old turkey tracks and tell you why Jerry worked so hard to mark the spot so others could see them…

January 4, 2022
04Jan22 Turpentine Wildlife Refuge 2
Lots of people come to Eureka Springs, Arkansas every year to enjoy the Ozark setting and attractions.  One of the places that some might see if a farm of sorts that may seem out-of-place.  Rather than raising cattle, hogs or chickens, this farm is home to tigers, lions, bears and more.  It’s mission is one that is of critical importance…

January 3, 2022
03Jan22 Turpentine Wildlife Refuge 1
Occasionally you hear of a large truckload of cattle or hogs that is stranded on the highway and other trucks must come to offload those animals to get them feed and water.  Now imagine that truckload of animals is a trailer full of tigers…

 

December 31, 2021
31Dec21 Best of 2021 Macomb Illinois Monopoly
Charles Darrow had a great new board game he sold to Parker Brothers – Monopoly.  The only problem was, Charles didn’t invent the game.  Rather it was a lady from MaComb, Illinois who not only created it, but held a patent on it.  So what happened when she went to Parker Brothers?

December 30, 2021
30Dec21 Best of 2021 Evel Knievel Museum
There was no stunt he wouldn’t consider.  And because of his daredevil nature, some have called him the first, real-life superhero.  After all, he was the first to have his own action figure, just like superman and batman…

December 29, 2021
29Dec21 Best of 2021 Boise City Bombing
They made a mistake worthy of a court martial.  A bombing crew made a wrong turn and bombed their own country’s residents.  However, a mistake that could have ruined the careers of those aboard and cost lives on the ground actually challenged the team to become the best that ever flew…

December 28, 2021
28Dec21 Best of 2021 Bob Slater
It’s a big deal to meet the president of the United States.  Some people will do just about anything to travel to a place where they might get to shake the president’s hand.  That’s what Bob did.  He even hitchhiked to get there.  But what happened next was quite unexpected…

December 27, 2021
27Dec21 Best of 2021 Ben Hur
Some people fix up their office with pictures and knickknacks that remind them of their favorite things in life.  This man went a step further.  He made sure his office allowed him to do the thing he most enjoyed in life at the same time – fishing…

 

 

December 24, 2021
24Dec21 Algona Nativity 2
In Algona, Iowa there is a nativity scene that has been on display for over 75 years.  It was a gift from prisoners far from home, who were about to leave the friends they had made in a foreign country…

December 23, 2021
23Dec21 Algona Nativity 1
During the advent season, many families and churches will set up Nativity scenes.  The figures remind us of the birth of Jesus.  But here, the Nativity scene is always set up, for it is by far too large to ever be taken down…

December 22, 2021
22Dec21 Faribault Christmas Tree 2
Jerry Lageson is very well known for what he does every Christmas.  He never set out to be popular or draw attention to himself, but somewhere along the way, what is in his yard became an inspiration for countless travelers each season…

December 21, 2021
21Dec21 Faribault Christmas Tree 1
On the surface it would seem Jerry has an easy Christmas lighting situation.  He puts lights on just one tree in his yard each year.  But oh, if you’ve see that tree along Interstate 35, you know Jerry really takes time to make it look just right, and everyone remembers it…

December 20, 2021
20Dec21 LeRoy Keyes
In1968, O.J Simpson won the Heisman Trophy…but it was this man who was runner-up in the Heisman balloting that year.  He passed from cancer earlier this year but I thought it was fitting to back are recall his inspiring story – one still remembered in the Hoosier state…

 

December 17, 2021
17Dec21 Muscatine Car Dealer
For many years Marvin Kreiger operated a car dealership in Muscatine, Iowa. Today, we take a look back at a successful business…but also a time when it was not so easy to sell a car in this town…especially if you had this specific model on your lot…

December 16, 2021
16Dec21 Muscatine Quack Hospital
We appreciate the many stations that air our broadcast each day, but a century ago there was a station with a signal mightier than any in the country.  It was KTNT that flaunted the law and blasted their signal to most of the country touting a cure for a deadly disease.

December 15, 2021
15Dec21 Muscatine Pearl Buttons
There’s plenty of fertile farmland along the Mississippi River here.  But a century ago, this city was known for something else. It was not the land along the river, but something from the river that was putting the town on the map…

December 14, 2021
14Dec21 Blue Springs Heritage Center 2
Natural springs are a thing of beauty and also of mystery.  Attempts to find the source of this spring have led divers to incredible depths with few answers.  But one of the most interesting stories about this Arkansas spring is a connection with Alaska…

December 13, 2021
13Dec21 Blue Springs Heritage Center 1
Just outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas you will find one of the largest natural springs in the area.  It’s captivating blue waters have been a place people have been coming for a centuries.  It’s a place John and his family know well….

 

December 10, 2021
10Dec21 American Ninja Warrior 2
We never give it a thought, but most of us perform our jobs with our feet on the ground.  Even if you fly airplanes, your feet are still on the floor of the airplane.  But now imagine a career in which your feet are almost always dangling in mid air and your strength to hold on will determine your success of failure…

December 9, 2021
09Dec21 American Ninja Warrior 1
In his early 20s Alex Weber realized that he was some sort of comedic sports actor.  Perhaps he wondered if the combination of those skills was really anything that one could turn into a career.  Then a most intriguing job offer came his way…

December 8, 2021
08Dec21 Pearl Harbor Sterling Cole 3
Sterling Cale acted with bravery and courage during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Why then was he going to be court martialed.  He couldn’t believe what he was hearing…

December 7, 2021
07Dec21 Pearl Harbor Sterling Cole 2
He was an eye witness to history, a man who was in the waters of Pearl Harbor during and after the Japanese attack, doing his part to fight back and preserve life.  We look back at his heroic story…

December 6, 2021
06Dec21 Pearl Harbor Sterling Cole 1
He was a farm boy from Illinois who thought he’d received the prime spot for anyone to serve in the military.  On December 7th, 1941, he found himself surrounded by a day that will live in infamy…

 

December 3, 2021
03Dec21 Burnham Phillipine Hostages 4
Today’s story is about Thanksgiving.  Yes, it does involve the holiday, but in a much different way.  It’s the story of hostages celebrating a meager meal in the jungle and somehow keeping their faith even when events made it hard to simply survive…

December 2, 2021
02Dec21 Burnham Phillipine Hostages 3
In the Spring of 2001 several people were taken hostage in the Philippines by terrorist and held for over a year.  Two of those held against their will were Martin and Gracia Burnham.  We look back twenty years to an event that got the attention of the world

December 1, 2021
01Dec21 Burnham Phillipine Hostages 2
For a time the Burnham family few crop dusting jobs in western Nebraska.  Perhaps it was good training for flights they would someday be making in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  But the most dangerous part of the mission would be something they encountered on the ground…

November 30, 2021
30Nov21 Burnham Phillipine Hostages 1
It was a flight not for the faint of heart – flying small planes in and out of mountainous jungles.  But it was a life that Martin Burnham grew up with and a life he wanted to live as an adult…

November 29, 2021
29Nov21 Lanesboro MN History Alive
Jane loved history and the performing arts and when she found herself in this town of under 1000 people she had an idea of how the two might be combined for a unique production that today draws many here to see it…

 

November 26, 2021
26Nov21 Plymouth Plantation
We associate the first Thanksgiving with the Native American and Pilgrims living in Plymouth Colony.  However, we know very little about that event.  Today we head to Plymouth Plantation and look back about 400 years to a meal that we still celebrate…

November 25, 2021
25Nov21 Plymouth Rock
Each Thanksgiving we are likely to remember the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock.  But is that rock really the spot they disembarked and eventually celebrated a meal we trace to our holiday?  We’ll go rock hunting…

November 24, 2021
24Nov21 Hannibal Riverboat 3
When the nation was founded, waterways were the interstate highways of the day.  Today those rivers can still move a lot of cargo, but most of us don’t see it on the water unless we happen to be passing over a major bridge.  Today we head out on the river to see just how much those barges can move…

November 23, 2021
23Nov21 Hannibal Riverboat 2
Who is Mark Twain?  Perhaps the better question is “What is Mark Twain?”  Knowing what mark twain is will help you better understand who the man with the pen name Mark Twain really is.  This is the story of a name with an important meaning..

November 22, 2021
22Nov21 Hannibal Riverboat 1
Steve Terry grew up along the Mississippi River but he perhaps never imagined he would spend most of his career working on that river.  But a teenage job aboard a riverboat changed his ideas about what he wanted to do in life…

 

 

November 19, 2021
19Nov21 Waldo Missouri 1
When Union and Confederate sympathizers threatened to take this bankers money, he did something quite unique – he dressed as a woman and began transporting the cash underneath his skirt to secret locations where it could be safely kept until the end of the war…

November 18, 2021
18Nov21 Waldo Missouri 1
You may remember the popular Where’s Waldo books that had kids searching for a man hidden in pictures.  Today we search for Waldo ourselves – a real man with links to the presidency as well as the Midwest…

November 17, 2021
17Nov21 Lanesboro MN Stone Mill Hotel 2
Most farming towns have a least one feed mill and Lanesboro, Minnesota is no exception.  However, one of those feed mills looks a bit different on the inside.  For while the bins and augers are still here, there are people sleeping around all of that equipment…

November 16, 2021
16Nov21 Lanesboro MN Stone Mill Hotel 1
In southeastern Minnesota you’ll find a rolling landscape known as the Driftless area, and within that region there’s a town named Lanesboro that was established in the mid 1800s to draw east coast tourists.  The dream of a luring visitors did come true, but it took over a century…

November 15, 2021
15Nov21 Dayton Carillon Historical Park
If you’re over 40 years old, you probably remember aluminum cans that had the old pull off tabs.  Today of course we have pop tops on virtually every beverage can in the world.  May not seem like a big deal…but it adds up over time…

 

 

November 12, 2021
12Nov21 Wright Brothers Flyer
The Wright Brothers first took flight in 1903 and that plane is in the Smithsonian.  But the brothers said there was a much more important flight than that first one…and that plane is here…

November 11, 2021
11Nov21 Father John Cummings 2
Normally a priest’s words are to inspire the local congregation.  In this case, the priest’s words sent him to jail and then to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide his case.  The issue wasn’t so much about what the priest said, but rather what he refused to say.  This is the story of the ruling on a small town priest who wound up in the highest court in the land…

November 10, 2021
10Nov21 Father John Cummings 1
For many folks it seemed to be a good idea.  Have people take an oath of allegiance to the nation.  However, one man objected – someone who might have seemed an unlikely man to break the law and spend a long period of time in jail for doing so…

November 9, 2021
09Nov21 John Brooks Henderson 2
On a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River you’ll find a bust of a U.S. Senator who authored one of the most important pieces of our U.S. Constitution.  In fact, the plaque below his statue reminds us of the very words he wrote – words that govern us today…

November 8, 2021
08Nov21 John Brooks Henderson 1
There’s a good chance you’ve not heard of Senator John Brooks Henderson.  On the surface he seemed an unlikely man to write legislation that would become part of our U.S. constitution.  However, a series of events over a matter of weeks saw him become a U.S. Senator and then a regular visitor of President Abraham Lincoln…

 

November 5, 2021
05Nov21 New Mellary Abbey 3
When people began attending funeral’s here, many had the exact same reaction.  They mentioned that when they passed, they wanted a funeral just like that.  What resulted is a business with deep ties to the mission these men serve…

November 4, 2021
04Nov21 New Mellary Abbey 2
These men had about 3500 acres of farmland, pasture and timber.  However, tilling the land they owned was becoming more difficult as they grew older.  What they did next not only pays the bills, it has become a well-known enterprise

November 3, 2021
03Nov21 New Mellary Abbey 1
Who helped supply the Union army’s depot in Galena, IL during the Civil War?  The monks at this abbey of course.  Their work is why you’ll find many of the beautiful buidings that still stand on the hills just outside of Dubuque…

November 2, 2021
02Nov21 Mulvane Kansas Restaurant 2
If you love Italian food perhaps you dream of a trip to Tuscany in Italy to savor the true tastes of that country.  But if you are looking for a great experience closer to home, you might not expect to find it in one small, rural Kansas town…

November 1, 2021
01Nov21 Mulvane Kansas Restaurant 1
Nancy grew up in small town Kansas but had a desire to see the country and the world.  For several years, her home town was a place she occasionally travelled to see family and friends, but then something changed…