North Dakota

On this date in 1911, the Ward County Independent reported that Lucky Bob St. Henry had presented a spectacular exhibition at Minot. Several thousand people gathered at the Minot fairgrounds to watch Lucky Bob take to the air in his Curtis biplane named “Sweetheart.” Described as “the brave bird man,” Lucky Bob brought the first flight to the Minot area.

Jefferson's Plan

Aug 16, 2018

Part of Thomas Jefferson’s plan, when sending the Corps of Discovery across the American continent, was to foster positive relationships with the American Indians they encountered along the way. Initial contact between Lewis and Clark and Native Americans would be a crucial first-step, but Jefferson hoped to further cement US-Indian relationships by inviting tribal leaders to Washington D.C. to introduce them to the wonders of American civilization and impress upon them the advisability of an alliance with the United States.

New Draft

Aug 15, 2018

The American Expeditionary Forces were advancing, with the British and French forces, along the front in France. The causalities were heavy.  As of August 1, 1918, over 1.3 million American soldiers were in France.  The War Department announced plans to send a quarter of a million men per month to France. They were determined to expand the presence of American forces in hopes of shortening the war. This strategy would put almost 3.6 million men at the front by June of 1919, and it would call for a significant increase in the draft.  Congress was posed to expand the draft age to include all males between the ages of 18 and 45. The call was out for North Dakota to prepare to enroll 75,000 men in August and September. 

Blue-Green Algae

Aug 14, 2018

Blue-green algae have been in the news recently.  Blooms of the algae have led the North Dakota Department of Health to issue public health warnings for several lakes across the state.  

There are several types of algae that are common in our marshes, lakes, rivers, and streams. They are important to the food chains in these bodies of water, and serve as little aerators, by releasing oxygen into the water as a byproduct of photosynthesis.  Most of the time we don’t even notice them, but if conditions are right, their populations may erupt, causing an algae bloom.  These blooms may be unsightly and perhaps a nuisance, but with the exception of blue-green algae, generally do not pose a health risk.  

Amber Waves of Grain

Aug 14, 2018

Samuel Glover once owned the largest farm in Dickey County. On this date in 1891, the Oakes Times ran an article about the operation. Glover planted 2,500 acres of wheat. It was described as “a golden sea of grain so tall that a person wading into its depths would be all but lost to view.”

It was this week in 1825 when Sioux Chief Waneta signed the Treaty of Prairie du Chien. It preserved all lands now in Central Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska for the Native American tribes.  Afterward, Waneta traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with President John Quincy Adams. While there, Charles Bird King painted a portrait of the distinguished Chief.

American Soul

Aug 10, 2018

When Dakota Territory was settled, the United States encouraged the arrival of European immigrants.  At a federal court hearing this week in 1918, Judge Charles Amidon, noted this in the sentencing of the Rev. John Fontana, pastor of the German Evangelical Lutheran church of New Salem, who was convicted for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. The judge said, “We urged you to come, we welcomed you, we gave you opportunity, we gave you land, we conferred on you the diadem of American citizenship, and then we went away and left you. We have paid almost no attention to what you were doing.” 

The Missouri River has a plentitude of fish. Modern-day anglers seek to catch wily walleyes, ravenous northern pike, big catfish and even paddlefish. Rough fish also abound, including buffalo fish, goldeye, and bullheads.

In former days, Native Americans harvested fish from the mighty Missouri. Some tribes depended heavily upon fish for food, while others did not. One of the tribes, the Hidatsa, used fish traps, drags, or fishhooks.

They say a rising tide lifts all boats. For Barnie Botone, the great-grandson of a famous Kiowa chief, the Civil Rights Movement and an unlikely change agent helped pave the way for a fulfilling and pioneering career. But why were the tears flowing from his grandmother’s eyes not happy ones?

Botone spoke with StoryCorps facilitator Savannah Winchester at the StoryCorps MobileBooth in Bismarck.

One of the nice things about North Dakota is that you can drive three hours across the state to see a parade in a town of less than 100 population, and when you get there, you find people you know everywhere.

I’m talking about Mountain, North Dakota, site of the annual August the Deuce festival. We had just settled in alongside some old friends in one of the grandstands when here came Ashley Thornberg of Prairie Public radio, recounting her plot - eventually successful - to score an interview with the prime minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Her Excellency the prime minister, I confess, was the chief reason we had come to Mountain, but as usual with such expeditions, so many interesting things turned up.