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.

Chinook Shake-Up

Feb 21, 2020

Granville, North Dakota, recorded an 83-degree rise in temperature on this date in 1918, one of the most extreme temperature changes ever recorded. In only twelve hours, the temperature climbed from 33 below zero to 50 degrees above. The 83-degree swing was only one example of extreme temperature changes caused by a phenomenon known as ‘Chinook winds.’

Vague fears of nuclear war can lurk like green monsters hiding under the bed. In 1945, the grim destructive power of atomic weapons became clear at Hiroshima.

After Russia built atomic bombs in 1949, fears of nuclear war led to fallout shelters and Civil Defense brochures entitled “Survival in a Nuclear Attack.”

February is Black History Month. In North Dakota, the African American population has grown, though historically the numbers were few. But there have been African Americans in the state as long as there have been white people. Early records indicate that the earliest came as slaves of explorers and traders. In fact, the first non-Native born here was an African American baby.

In the early 1900s Marc Klaw and Abraham Lincoln Erlanger were among the biggest names in entertainment. Based in New York City, they produced Broadway shows and owned a chain of theaters. They also took shows on the road to major cities across the country.

Alfred Dickey was the first lieutenant governor of North Dakota. He was also a citizen of Jamestown and a supporter of the public good. So, in January of 1901, he called a meeting with the intention to create a free reading room for Jamestown. 

Today is Valentine’s Day, and store windows are decorated in red and pink and the finest restaurants are booked with dinner reservations. It is a day for love, but for a certain group of young men at the University of North Dakota in 1902, it must not have been the day of love they hoped for. Just eight days later, on February 22, the ten men, who described themselves as “turned-down, heart-pierced young men,” would come together to form the Varsity Bachelor Club.

On this date in 1920, more than 2,000 women from across the United States, including a delegation from North Dakota, were attending a convention set up through the National American Woman Suffrage Association at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The weeklong convention was called a celebration of the emancipation of American women. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the Suffrage Association, stated that this “ratification convention” was “the most momentous of all conventions held in the last fifty-one years.”

Child Labor

Feb 12, 2020

In the early part of the Twentieth Century, child labor was common. Professor J.M. Gillette from the University of North Dakota addressed child labor in his sociology class. On this date in 1915, Gillette said it wasn’t unique to big cities. He said that North Dakota also had to face up to the problem of child labor.

Pomp's Birthday

Feb 11, 2020

Sacagawea gave birth to Jean Baptiste Charbonneau on this date in 1805. Lewis and Clark were wintering at Ft. Mandan and had hired Touissant Charbonneau and his pregnant wife Sacagawea as interpreters for the next leg of their Corps of Discovery Expedition. Meriwether Lewis wrote about the birth, saying, “…one of the wives of Charbonneau was delivered of a fine boy.”

In the early days of Great Plains settlement, fire was a threat. Driven by the wind, it could sweep across grasslands and crops. It might be started by lightning or human error. Fires deliberately set to burn off vegetation could get out of control.

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