Dakota Datebook

8:41 am, 3:50 pm, 5:44 pm, and 7:50 pm CT
  • Hosted by Prairie Public

Sitting Bull to Phil Jackson, cattle to prairie dogs, knoefla to lefse. Dakota Datebook radio features air weekdays at 8:35 am, 3:50 pm, 6:30 pm and 7:50 pm CT on Prairie Public. Find the 2003-2017 archives here.

Dakota Datebook is is generously funded by the North Dakota Humanities Council, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of the North Dakota Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.



In 1913, Secretary George Von L. Meyer, then United States Secretary of the Navy, and North Dakota's Governor L. B. Hanna were in discussion concerning the ornamental figurehead that once adorned the bow of the USS North Dakota.

A New El Dorado

Apr 19, 2018

On this date in 1907, the Washburn Leader reprinted an article from the Devils Lake Inter-Ocean warning of a land sale scam.


Dakota Territory had a messy few years under Governor Nehemiah Ordway. He was a New Hampshire state legislator who President Hayes appointed as the territorial governor in 1880, after William A. Howard died in office.


"They can come and take me and put me in prison or kill me, but they can't make me fight. God's against war, and it isn't right.”

These words, uttered by Richard Francis Anderson in August of 1917, marked a six month, soul-searching battle for the young man from Wilton.   

Last Territorial AG

Apr 16, 2018


Johnson Nickeus, born in 1850, played a number of roles in the final years of Dakota Territory.  He was an attorney in Jamestown who served two terms on the Territorial Legislative Council, which included the last session at Yankton and the first one at Bismarck.

Old Dakota Counties

Apr 13, 2018


While the shape of North Dakota has been the same since 1889, its puzzle pieces have changed a bit. North Dakota had fifty-three counties at statehood. Some were organized and some still awaited a proper county government, and there was a variety of names and shapes not on the map today, particularly out west.  

War Exhibit

Apr 12, 2018

April 6, 1918 marked the one year anniversary of America’s entrance into the Great War.  In many of North Dakota’s towns and cities, impressive celebrations were held to recognize the dedicated, patriotic effort that had engulfed the state over the past twelve months.  

Calamity Jane

Apr 11, 2018

A woman stepped off the train in Oakes, North Dakota, traveling alone, on her way to Jamestown. Her name was Mary Jane Canary. She was better known as Calamity Jane. On this date in 1902, the Oakes Republican reported on her unexpected visit.


Dakota Territory was a decade away from statehood and nearing political upheaval after the death of Governor William A. Howard. In 1878, President Hayes had appointed Howard as Dakota’s sixth governor.


Apr 9, 2018


Bowbells is the county seat of Burke County, which is bordered on the north by the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Bowbells was founded in 1898 along the main line of the Soo Line Railroad and incorporated in 1906. Railroad officials named the town for the famous bells of St Mary-le-Bow Church in London.