After the Vietnam War, many Hmong people found themselves as refugees. The resettlement of some to the United States began in 1975, with multiple waves continuing until 2006. Today Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to the largest urban Hmong population in the world. The Hmong people in Minnesota have developed a strong and vibrant community in their chapter of the immigrant story in America.
January 7, 1980 - MPR’s Tom Meersman reports on Laotian refugees arriving in Minnesota. Meersman highlights struggles and adjustments the refugees face.
March 28, 1980 - MPR’s Tom Meersman reports on a conference about refugees resettling in Minnesota and how Laotian refugees are dealing with the many obstacles in adapting and thriving in United States. Economic, generational, and equality issues are topics highlighted in report.
May 2, 1980 - MPR’s Tom Meersman reports on arrival of Laotian refugee plane. The exhausted passengers exit plane and enter a new and overwhelming home.
May 9, 1980 - MPR’s Tom Meersman interviews a Hmong refugee upon their arrival in Minnesota. Interviewee describes the life left behind and the uncertainty of what lies ahead for family in St. Paul.
July 15, 1980 - MPR’s Tom Meersman reports on English as a Second Language (ESL) school programs in the Twin Cities. Teachers work with refugee students from varied background languages, including Hmong, Cambodian, Thai, Laotian, and Vietnamese.
December 7, 1980 - MPR’s Mark Johnson interviews Charles Johnson, a Macalester professor, about the history and current situation of the Hmong people. Johnson also discusses his project of collected Hmong traditional folk stories translated in English for ESL studies.
December 23, 1980 - MPR’s Rich Dietman reports on immigrants use of traditional folk medicine. Inside the International Clinic at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital, western medical professionals are trying to better understand the different medical approaches and treatments.
March 23, 1981 - MPR’s Tom Meersman reports on the housing challenges — practical, cultural, governmental, and social — that refugee families face after arriving in Minneapolis. Substandard housing is among the most problematic of them all.
April 24, 1982 - MPR’s Dale Connelly interviews Melissa Ringheim, a curator at the Science Museum of Minnesota, about exhibit of Hmong and Iu Mien embroidery, batik, and applique work. Ringheim describes the detail and style of the wearable art.
April 29, 1983 - MPR’s Jim Ragsdale reports on ten Hmong men selected for a farm training project with the hope that they would settle with their families on a plot of farmland near Homer, Minnesota.