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.

Horse thieves have long been a staple in western movies and are notorious in Western lore. Stealing a horse on the western frontier very possibly doomed the owner to die, stranded in the wilderness. Consequently, the theft was a hanging offense. The hanging was often an impromptu affair, carried out without the benefit of a trial. The horse thief could count on justice that was swift and final.

Theodore Roosevelt’s first opportunity to personally express much of his passion for our nation, as well as Dakota Territory’s gift of healing grace, was in 1886. TR was the featured speaker at Dickinson’s first full-on Independence Day celebration.

Mosquitoes are pesky, pestiferous, and pestilential, besides being prolific.

One of the most-plentiful mosquito species in North Dakota has a scientific name of: “aedes vexans.” “Aedes” meaning “unpleasant” or “odious;” and “vexans” meaning “vexing.” You get the picture. Both elements of its name mean “extremely nasty.”

Forty Rod Whiskey

Jul 2, 2019

On this date in 1909, North Dakota faced a major change as a new law had just gone into effect that meant “forty rod whiskey” – and other adulterated consumables – were now a thing of the past. Professor E.F. Ladd of the North Dakota Agricultural College had helped write the pure food and drug law. It called for the elimination of dangerous additives. There were now penalties for anyone making or selling food that didn’t meet legal standards. That included liquor.

Theodore Roosevelt’s bold and bountiful reputation as an American icon had its genesis with the Rough Riders in the short, bloody but significant Spanish American War to free the Cubans from the tyranny of Spain. This week in 1898 launched TR into history.

First Auto

Jun 28, 2019

The first automobile to enter the state of North Dakota made its grand appearance on this date in 1897. The German-built Benz-Velo, appeared in Grand Forks to advertise a St. Paul firm that sold Carnation Cigars. The next day, the Grand Forks Plainsdealer reported, “The machine is propelled by a gasoline motor and has seat room for two persons. It is fitted with heavy cushion tires, and makes a speed of from twelve to fifteen miles per hour on good roads. It seems to be easily handled and can be turned inside of a very small circle.”

Pure Food & Drug Act

Jun 27, 2019

The dawn of the burgeoning 20th century America cast light on both poverty and progress. Health and public welfare conditions were limited at best – horrific and deadly at worst.

Crusading reporters and newspapers began public exposés against questionable patent medicines, quack practitioners, exploitive businessmen, filthy food preparation and squalid working conditions. Theodore Roosevelt joined in the fight with the newspaper scribes he dubbed “muckrakers.”

Vang Lutheran Church

Jun 26, 2019
Jack Dura

Like many prairies churches of North Dakota, Vang Lutheran Church at Manfred had its start with a group of parishioners worshipping wherever and however they could. Local Norwegian settlers held services in their sod homes and schoolhouses for worship, weddings, baptisms and burials.

On this date in 1909, passenger train No. 4 of the Great Northern Railway, mainly loaded with people returning from the World's Fair in Seattle, derailed four miles east of the at Tioga. While travel by train was frequent, and train accidents not uncommon, it was noteworthy that for such a great wreck, few injuries occurred for most of the people onboard. According to some of the men manning the train, the accident was caused by a track failure.

A drizzly June made for mucky conditions for a young preacher and his neighbors in McKenzie County a century ago. The Reverend Richard C. Jahn came to North Dakota in the fall of 1915 from seminary in St. Louis, answering a call to preach at a church in Schafer. For 10 months, he immersed himself in the rugged lifestyle of McKenzie County, riding horses, shooting wild game and providing services to neighbors, while also keeping a daily journal. He lived with a bachelor homesteader in a cabin east of Watford City while preaching for several Lutheran churches. Being bilingual, he preached in both English and German.