Dakota Datebook | Prairie Public Broadcasting

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 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.

A Birding Mecca

16 hours ago

On this date in 1905, the Washburn Leader alerted readers to the presence in North Dakota of what it called “the peculiar loon.” While associated more with forested states to the east like Minnesota, Michigan, and New Hampshire, the loon can also be found in North Dakota. The bird’s haunting and distinctive call can be heard for long distances. They are migratory, living on inland lakes from early spring to late fall or early winter. Shortly before ice begins to form, they migrate to the ocean, where they spend the winter.

 


On this date in 1917, Beulah Amidon, daughter of Judge Amidon of Fargo, was making a name for herself as a suffragist as she traveled the United States. Beulah, 22 years old, was said to be a suffragist since childhood. She had graduated from college in Fargo and then went to California, where she established legal residence so she could vote. Coincidentally, shortly after she moved, North Dakota passed limited suffrage for women. However, she would have to live in North Dakota for a full year again if she wanted to vote in her home state.

 

North Dakota’s 1977 Legislature is probably most notable for its evenly divided House of Representatives and a dispute over the lieutenant governor’s veto power in the Senate, an issue that wasn’t resolved until voters had their say a year later.

 

Tomorrow is the anniversary of North Dakota’s first commercial television station. It was 1953, and that first year, Minot’s KCJB – now KXMC – chartered a plane to fly in, from Minneapolis, film coverage of each day of the World Series. But most of the shows were live programs by local teachers, ministers, county agents and actors.

The Gopher Bounty

Apr 2, 2020

 


The gopher is a small animal. It averages six to eight inches in length and weighs half a pound. They are sometimes called pocket gophers because they are small enough to fit in a pocket. But while they’re small, the agricultural damage they can do is astounding. In the early nineteenth century there were limited methods of controlling the little pest. So, it is not surprising that some localities in North Dakota offered a bounty on these burrowing rodents.

 

Ben Bird was a true cowboy in North Dakota history. He knew how to herd cattle and how to rope and ride.

Born in Texas in 1864, Benton “Ben” Bird came to Dakota Territory in 1886, when he worked for the OX (OH-EX) outfit. He was a cowboy in the great cattle drives, guiding thousands of longhorns to the Little Missouri River country. He rode north with the cattle several times in his early 20s, but in 1892, he decided to quit his migratory ways. He settled down in North Dakota, acknowledging “that he liked it better than any place he had ever been.”

On this date in 1931, twenty-three year old Gordon Bjornson pleaded guilty to kidnapping and extorting O.A. Leach. On May 20, 1930, Bjornson approached Leach and his wife at their house with a gun. Leach was the manager of Citizens National Bank in Wahpeton. Bjornson made Leach and his wife get into their car and drive outside of town. Bjornson demanded that Leach give him $45,000, or he would kidnap his wife. Leach offered Bjornson $25,000. The next day, Leach drove to Minneapolis and withdrew $25,000 in twenty dollar bills. Leach then drove to the outskirts of Fargo and dropped off the money at an agreed-upon spot.

Scams and Scammers

Mar 30, 2020

Scams and scammers are nothing new. On this date in 1905, the Hope Pioneer alerted readers to a new scam. The scammers would find the names of older people in obituaries, then send a cheap glasses to the address of the dead person, along with a bill. A letter included in the package said that the glasses were being delivered as ordered. The scam appealed to the emotions of the deceased person’s relatives. There was something sentimental about receiving an item that a loved one had ordered. Relatives would pay the bill and keep the glasses as a memento. The glasses were worth only seventy-five cents, but the bill was seven dollars!

Frozen by Fear

Mar 27, 2020

 

A frightened girl, perhaps suffering from an overactive imagination, leaped from a moving train near Gladstone, North Dakota, on this date in 1924. The girl believed another passenger had been watching her, and feared the man intended her harm. The girl retired to her berth and jumped from the compartment’s window to the snow below.

Frozen by Fear

Mar 27, 2020

 

A frightened girl, perhaps suffering from an overactive imagination, leaped from a moving train near Gladstone, North Dakota, on this date in 1924. The girl believed another passenger had been watching her, and feared the man intended her harm. The girl retired to her berth and jumped from the compartment’s window to the snow below.

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