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Dakota Datebook
6:42 am, 8:42 am, 3:50 pm*, 5:44 pm, and 7:50 pm* CT

Sitting Bull to Phil Jackson, cattle to prairie dogs, knoefla to lefse.

In partnership with the Historical Society of North Dakota, and 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.

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  • On this date in 1907, an obituary appeared in the Bismarck Daily Tribune. Readers learned that Henry Porter had been found dead. At first glance, there did not seem to be very much about Henry that was special. But for all the lack of detail, the brief obituary gives tantalizing hints.
  • In 1954, North Dakota and the rest of the nation were in the home stretch toward a safe and effective polio vaccine, but cases crept up that summer and fall, and polio fundraising drives sought money to help patients, who were mostly children. A survey found that Americans feared polio second only to the atomic bomb.
  • On this date in 1924, Ward County's Rice Lake resort hosted the biggest celebration of Emancipation Day in North Dakota history.
  • On this date in 1912, the Washburn, North Dakota newspaper announced that Minnesota Senator William D. Washburn died at his home in Minneapolis. There was a strong connection between the town of Washburn and the man for whom it was named. The newspaper noted that Washburn had always taken a personal interest in the North Dakota town.
  • This is Dakota Datebook for July 30, the date the “Apple Creek Fight” began in 1863. It’s written and voiced by Dakota Goodhouse, Hunkpapa Lakota/Yanktonai, and interpreter at the State Heritage Center and Museum in Bismarck.
  • Martha and Harry Thompson of Selz, North Dakota had six children. Son Gust was born in 1923 – tomorrow would be his birthday. He joined the army when he was barely 18 and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day. Sometime later, he would become a German prisoner.
  • Modern-day people usually don’t know much about oxen, unless they refer to someone as a “big ox,” or being “strong as an ox.” Some might know about Red River oxcarts or maybe Babe the Blue Ox’s statue in Bemidji.
  • William “Bill” Hamann was a mover and shaker in the western North Dakota cattle industry. He was born near Richardton in 1904 and began working with livestock in the late 1920s. Along with his associates, he established the Western Livestock Company in Dickinson in 1948. It grew to become the largest cattle auction in North Dakota.
  • On this date in 1907, the North Dakota School for the Deaf announced that the school had opened an exhibit at the Grand Forks Fair where students displayed examples of work including needlework, carpentry, and penmanship. The exhibit also featured photographs of the school.
  • In the deep past, a bamboo cane pole was every kid’s “starter” rod, an introduction to the lifetime sport of fishing. Little line-tangling, lots of panfish nibbling, much bobber-watching – all the delights of angling. On this date, in 1903, an article in the Cooperstown Courier compared the qualities of a cane-pole made of bamboo, imported from Japan, to those of an old-fashioned wooden pole made of hickory, ash, hazel or willow.