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.


In 1889, who could vote and how they could vote became a keen part of the debates during North Dakota's Constitutional Convention.  A. S. Parsons of Mandan headed the standing committee on elective franchise that examined voting rules.  Regarding women's suffrage, newspapers noted that this chairman was “unfriendly to the scheme in any shape or form.” Consequently, full enfranchisement was not awarded to women in the constitution, but they were granted the right to vote for school officials, a right they had also held under the territorial laws.

Nixon Resigns

Aug 7, 2020


A stunned American nation learned this week in 1974 that President Richard Nixon had chosen to resign the office of President of the United States of America. In doing so, Nixon was the first chief executive in the nation’s history to step down. 


On this date in 1945, the United States detonated a nuclear bomb above the Japanese town of Hiroshima. This along with one dropped on Nagasaki three days later resulted in the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on August 15th.


Aug 5, 2020


In the mid 19th century amateur footraces became popular and were held on cinder and dirt roads with estimated distances. It was common entertainment to gamble on these races, but unfortunately they were very easy to fix. “Under the table” deals would be made with the runners. Athletes would get a cut of the swindler’s profit when they purposefully lost, and the trusting spectators were conned, or “grifted.” Later gangs of grifters would make a living staging all kinds of sporting events, from horse races to boxing matches.


The U.S. census is conducted every ten years, in every year ending in zero. But demographers are always gathering data on residence and migration. A similar effort was just beginning more than a century ago in Bismarck. A committee was organizing a religious census of North Dakota’s capital city on this date in 1912.

Lake Metigoshe

Aug 3, 2020


On this date in 1906, an article in the Bottineau Courant wrote of the summer pleasures at Lake Metigoshe, which is nestled in the scenic Turtle Mountains. The paper wrote of the boating, hiking, camping, and enjoying cookouts. A newlywed couple enjoyed their new residence. Jack MacKay paddled his canoe. He was so charmed by his surroundings that he began planning the construction of a new home. 

Murder by Thumb Bite

Jul 31, 2020


On this date in 1900, an arrest warrant was issued for Joseph Schlanser of Fargo for the murder of A.P. Carroll. The murder weapon was Schlanser’s teeth, and the fatal injury was a bitten thumb. The cause of death was blood poisoning. Schlanser, of Fargo, was a veteran of the Spanish American War and a carpenter. Carroll was from France and former seminarian. He came to the United States around 1890, but had only been in Fargo for a few months, and was a cook for the restaurant at the Northern Pacific Depot. 


When the United States entered World War II in December of 1941, most of Europe was occupied by Germany. The continent was considered a fortress and invasion would not happen for several years.  Fortress Europe did not have a roof however, and American air operations against German occupied Europe started in 1942. Air missions increased in until the Normandy landings in June of 1944 and continued until the war in Europe ended in May of 1945. 


Even as Dakota Territory prepped to divide into states in 1889, women’s suffrage was a point of contention. Suffragists presented a petition at the territorial convention in January that was signed by over 4000 women asking the legislature to enact a law giving women the same voting rights as men.


Leeland Thomas Engelhorn was born September 19th, 1922, at Church’s Ferry, North Dakota. When World War II broke out, 18-year-old Leeland joined the Air Corps and was sent to Europe. On his 21st mission, he was a ball turret gunner and radio operator on a B-24. On August 3, 1944, they were coming back from a bombing run when German fighters attacked. They lost five B-24s, while the Germans lost thirteen ME-109s.