Dakota Datebook

6:42 am, 8:42 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 6:42 am, 8:42 am, 3:50 pm*, 5:44 pm, and 7:50 pm* CT on Prairie Public. Find the 2003-2017 archives here.

*These airtimes during Main Street may vary.

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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.

Arikara Map

19 hours ago

Maps can be extremely valuable. They can help you find your way to a location, they can show you the exciting features of a landscape or city, and they can help you visualize data in different ways. But what about unexplored and unmapped areas? This was the challenge faced by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1804 when President Thomas Jefferson gave them the job of exploring the Louisiana Purchase.

The Food Pledge

Oct 11, 2018

On this date in 1917, Europe was at war. America had not yet joined the fight, but there was another war to be waged: the war against hunger. Europe was woefully short of food. Herbert Hoover, the Food Administrator, announced that the United States could do a great deal to help the European allies, suggesting that Americans eat less of the foods that could be shipped to Europe, and more of the perishable foods that could not.

Spanish Flu

Oct 10, 2018

On September 29, 1917, throngs of people had stood amid garlands of red, white and blue bunting, waving flags and banners as they crowded on the railroad platforms to send off Company B of the First Regiment of the North Dakota National Guard.  Patriotic speeches and music filled the air.  For the families it had been a long, prayerful year.  At first the war news was hopeful and only a spattering of local names were among the casualty lists, but as the American Expeditionary Force took on a more aggressive role, the ranks of the dead and wounded began to swell.

On this date in 1920, several men including the chief of the North Dakota prohibition office found themselves in hot water for transporting a “motor car full of whiskey.” Theodore Musgjerd, a former clerk in the prohibition office, was arrested and charged with transporting 125 quarts of whiskey from Fargo to Sioux Falls.

In the 1880s, the question was asked: “How Large Will Pumpkins Grow in Dakota?” The answer was: “pretty big.”  The man behind the large-pumpkin question was Joseph Barth, manager of the St. Paul One Price Clothing store in Bismarck.

Regan's Namesake

Oct 5, 2018

Many towns in North Dakota are named for someone, and the city of Regan is no different.  J. Austin Regan was an early businessman and mover-and-shaker in North Dakota. He was born in 1870 in Ontario, and grew up in Missouri. He came to Carrington, North Dakota when he was twenty-one and worked for an implement dealer for two years before moving to Fessenden, where he established a machinery business with a partner. He also formed an elevator business in 1896. Regan became sole owner of the implement dealership, but in 1899, the store burned, along with others in a great fire in 1899.

United War Fund

Oct 4, 2018

Three days after the drive for the Fourth Liberty Loan began on September 28, 1918, the citizens of North Dakota had subscribed to $12 million of the state’s $19 million quota. But liberty loans involved redeemable bonds. Although the sale of bonds tied up personal finances, the money would eventually be returned with interest, and the end of the war appeared to be in sight.    

Sioux Pageant

Oct 3, 2018

On this date in 1913 a story on a ceremony at the Standing Rock reservation hailed the event as “The Most Magnificent History Pageant in the History of the Sioux.”  The pageant involved several thousand participants and spectators. The Standing Rock Band performed, as did many of the tribe’s warriors and dancers.

Making Mercer

Oct 2, 2018

North Dakota has a handful of counties that share a name with one of the state’s towns: Cavalier, Golden Valley, Adams, McKenzie, Bowman, Bottineau, Rolette, Hettinger, Pembina—and Mercer. The town of Mercer is a younger community in North Dakota, having sprung up along the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1905.

North Dakota has a long and unfortunate history of prairie fires. In 1804 Lewis and Clark recorded a prairie fire that resulted in fatalities. Clark wrote of several people “who could not get to any place of safety.” Lightning sometimes caused wildfires, but they were also caused by human activity. In 1805 the explorers noted that it was common for Indians to burn the prairie near their villages to benefit their ponies and the buffalo. But sometimes these fires got out of control, leaving destruction in their wake. The plains were especially vulnerable to fire in the fall, after the dry weather of summer and before fall rains came.