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 June of 1915, Fargo seemed a well-run modern small city. A trip through the pages of the Daily Fargo Forum newspaper reveals Fargo to be up-to-date in culture, life and metropolitan concerns.


After the passage of the Federal Suffrage Amendment through the U.S. House and Senate on June 4th, 1919, Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National Woman Suffrage Association, sent out a multitude of requests for governors to call special sessions for the purpose of ratifying the amendment.


In recent years, we have grown increasingly aware of “green” terms, reducing carbon footprints, and improving energy efficiency, to the point where many of these environmentally friendly terms have been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. But progress and energy efficiency have been goals longer than that.


The Central Racing Circuit of North Dakota met early in 1909 to organize for their annual horse races. All reports suggested the upcoming season would be a highly successful one—exciting news for North Dakota, which newspapers noted “[had] a reputation as a racing center.” This race also garnered attention because “its organization [was] said to be well-nigh ideal.” The locations for the series weren’t too far apart, making it easier and safer to ship horses between venues.


In our diverse region of the country, one fact we can probably all agree upon is that North Dakota enjoys a historical and essential partnership with agriculture. A small but vibrant example is the reception of the North Dakota Agriculture College’s unique Farm Train in the month of June in 1910. 


Every town in North Dakota has a yearly celebration it holds dear. Fargo has its street fair. Arnegard has the Fourth of July. Mountain has the Deuce of August. Valley City has its hill climb. Watford City has a rib fest. Fort Ransom has Sodbuster Days. Robinson has Center Fest. 

New England Picnic

Jun 18, 2020


A group of North Dakota residents celebrated their east-coast origins on this date in 1903. Carloads of folks met up in Fargo for a caravan to the annual New England Picnic in Detroit, Minnesota, which was later renamed Detroit Lakes. 

Everyone in the bunch had migrated to the region from New England states, and the picnic gave them a chance to reunite, and eat the New England foods that they missed so dearly.


On this date in 1920, William Reynolds was born in Helena Montana.  After going to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, Reynolds joined the Navy, became a pilot and a Marine Aviator during World War Two. Due to his fondness for a certain beverage, Reynolds’ pilot friends nicknamed him “Whiskey Bill.”


In 1874, the Pembina Bill was proposed to the territorial legislature. This bill would carve a new Territory out of Dakota Territory called Pembina. Senator Sargent offered an amendment to that bill that would allow women the right to vote at the formation of the new territory. Newspapers reported that Sargent offered this because he believed granting women the right to vote would "purify society and open wider avenues to them." 

A Stolen Train

Jun 15, 2020


On this date in 1894, the Oakes Republican reported that a band of armed men had seized a train east of Bismarck. It took place when the train stopped at Dawson. When the engineer went into the telegraph office, an armed mob swarmed over the engine. They detached it from the rest of the train and forced the fireman to drive it. Deputy Marshals attempted to retake the train, but they were outnumbered. One of the deputies was shot and seriously wounded.