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 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.

Artist Clell Gannon

Sep 28, 2018

The legacy of an accomplished North Dakota artist can still be seen in the Burleigh County Courthouse in Bismarck. Clell Gannon painted a number of murals in the courthouse vestibule, depicting scenes from North Dakota history, such as “Verendrye Meets the Mandans” and “The Sibley Campaign.” The courthouse is in Art Deco style, built during the same period as the state Capitol skyscraper.

Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame was a Stars and Stripes war correspondent during World War II. In this capacity Rooney became good friends with native North Dakotan, Raymond Check. Captain Check was a B-17 bomber pilot and was well liked by everyone who knew him. Check flew during a time in the war when a bomber tour was 25 missions, and in that many missions, the odds of being killed, wounded or shot down were high.

Fourth Liberty Loan

Sep 26, 2018

From the American perspective in September of 1918, the allies in France needed to take the offensive instead of continuing the battle of attrition associated with trench warfare. American leaders were willing to commit what was necessary to get the job done quickly. Initially it would result in more casualties, but it promised to bring an earlier end to the war.

Frosted Flax

Sep 25, 2018

On this date in 1902, many North Dakota farmers were facing the aftermath of an early frost.  There was concern for the flax crop, which had frosted before it reached maturity. Some growers thought the crop should be harvested as soon as possible. Others wanted to wait. Professor Bolley of the North Dakota Agricultural College was in the latter camp. He advised growers to exercise patience.

Forget-Me-Not Day

Sep 24, 2018

Supporting America’s troops has taken different forms throughout the years. The Great War was still in recent memory when various groups spread out throughout Bismarck-Mandan to sell handmade forget-me-nots to honor and support disabled American military veterans in 1937. On this date, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Governor Bill Langer had declared the following day as “Forget-Me-Not Day.”

The Great Depression of the 1930s did not feel so “great” to those suffering from unemployment, bank failures, or drought. The Depression was in full “3-D” – it was ‘Dire,’ ‘Disastrous,’ and “Dreadful.’  How did North Dakotans endure those Depression years from 1929 through 1940?

Here is one of those stories.

The Butterfly Effect

Sep 20, 2018

On this date in 1906, the Courier Democrat of Langdon, North Dakota reported on an unsettling and slightly alarming phenomena. A particular species of insect had appeared in “unprecedented numbers.” Concerned citizens were sending specimens to the North Dakota Agricultural College.  However, the colleges reported that there was no cause for concern. The mysterious insect was none other than the harmless monarch butterfly.

Letters from France

Sep 19, 2018

On this date in 1918, many North Dakota soldiers were serving their country in the War, and when they wrote home, it was common for the recipient to give the letter to the local newspaper, which would then print it, so everyone would know what was going on.

Albert Grass

Sep 18, 2018

John Grass, or Charging Bear, was a beloved leader of the Teton Sioux and an ardent supporter of the war effort.  July of 1917, although weakened by a prolonged illness, the elderly chief accepted the vice-chairmanship of the Red Cross for Sioux County.  He stated that as a young man he went to war many times, but his thoughts were not of death but of honor.  Although it caused him great grief to see his children going into battle, there was joy in his heart to know they were not cowards.

Since 1858, Fort Abercrombie has been a famous landmark in North Dakota’s history, serving as a gateway to the West and a stopping place along the early trade route between St. Paul and Fort Garry in Canada.

A threat of war came to Fort Abercrombie when the Dakota Conflict began in Minnesota in August, 1862.  Dakota warriors attacked the village of Breckenridge, about August 22, killing four people. Fearful settlers fled to Fort Abercrombie for safety.

One who came to the fort was a man named Frank Kent. Born in Maine in 1831, Kent moved to Minnesota in his twenties and got a job in St. Cloud, hauling freight to Fort Garry and back. By 1862, Kent was using a wagon with four mules.