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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, knoephla to lefse. North Dakota's legacy includes many strange stories of eccentric towns, war heroes, and various colorful characters. Hear all about them on Dakota Datebook, your daily dose of North Dakota history.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, 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 Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

You can find all Dakota Datebooks from 2018-today below. Our archive of Datebooks from 2003-2017 can be found here.

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  • On this date in 1912, the University of North Dakota's student newspaper, The Student, reported on a lecture given the previous Saturday by Dr. Robert Charles Wallace, a geology professor at the University of Manitoba. Although Dr. Wallace was a renowned expert on mineralogy, his topic was not about geology. The title was “Ideals of University Co-operation.” This speech would prefigure his future career in university administration. Indeed, he would become one of the most eminent university administrators in Canadian history.
  • North Dakota is located in the center of North America and experiences what is called a continental climate. One feature of this climate is the unpredictable weather patterns.
  • In 1883, Bismarck won out over Yankton as capital of Dakota Territory. When two states emerged from the territory in 1889, Bismarck was named the capital of North Dakota. Not everyone was happy with the decision. Residents of other cities thought their locations would be an improvement. When the capitol building burned in 1930, “removalists” as they were called, thought it was an ideal time to push for the relocation of the state government. It seemed like a good time to promote the move since a new capitol building had to be built.
  • In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Kenneth Jerome Hill, enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Nation, talking about his name, Helping Boy.
  • On this date in 1918 The Fargo Forum was full of articles about the progress of World War I. Germany was advancing through Russia, another draft was possible, and folks in North Dakota and elsewhere were busy raising funds for the war effort. Tucked away on page eight of the paper was the news that 1,500 former residents of North Dakota held a picnic near Los Angeles.
  • On June 25 and 26, 1876, the Battle of Little Big Horn took place along the Little Big Horn River in Montana Territory. Known to the Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass, it is widely remembered as Custer’s Last Stand. The 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer faced the combined forces of several tribes including Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho. The only survivor of regiment on Last Stand Hill was Captain Keogh’s horse Commanche, but 7th Cavalry troops in other portions of the battlefield did survive.
  • In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Vincent Grant, enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa talk about contemporary rendezvous reenacters.
  • On this date in 1910, the Bismarck Tribune reported on the expansion of the Bismarck Bottling Works, a popular bottling company. The company’s sodas had grown in popularity, allowing the company to open another factory in Mandan by early Spring. This was not, however, the first Bismarck bottling company.
  • This week in 1956, prominent Democrat Bill Lanier sent a letter by air mail to Senator William “Wild Bill” Langer. He wrote: “Just a short note to straighten out some of the habitual garbled reporting of the Fargo Forum.
  • In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Vincent Grant, enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa, talk about how the Michif came to be.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, 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 Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.