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.

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, in 1858, the second child of Theodore and Martha’s four children. His faulty eyesight and his ever-active asthma were a persistent distraction to the boy and he had to be taken away on long trips to help him find a place to breathe.

U.C.T. Halloween

Oct 30, 2019

The United Commercial Travelers is a non-profit fraternal benefit society that touts services and products for its clientele, while giving back to the local communities. It formed in Columbus, Ohio, as a society to provide accident insurance and other benefits for traveling salesman and their families. The organization spread throughout the United States and Canada, but today, Grand Forks has the only local chapter in North Dakota. Previously, Fargo and Bismarck both had active chapters. I. W. Cunningham, who was the national organizer of the Loyal Order of the Moose, was quoted in the newspaper as saying, "I am a U.C.T. because I believe in progress. The United Commercial Travelers is one of the most progressive fraternities on Earth today. If it had not announced its intention of going a step beyond any other social, fraternal, and commercial order, I would not be a member of it."

North Dakota Roads

Oct 29, 2019

On this date in 1915, the Washburn Leader noted that good roads were crucial to the growth of North Dakota. Traveling by car was not for the faint of heart. It was an adventure that might include flat tires, broken springs, boiling radiators, flooded roads, and getting stuck in mud.

On this date in 1898, the Spanish American War was nearing an end. The American peace commission spent the afternoon negotiating the peace treaty with Spain. The discussions focused on the Philippines and had little to do with the conflict in Cuba. This was of special interest to North Dakotans. The First North Dakota Volunteer Infantry had shipped out to the Philippines the previous May. The expectation was that the war would be over in a few quick weeks. It was more than a few weeks, but it looked like the war was rapidly nearing an end. North Dakotans anxiously awaited the return of their boys.

Campaigning for president in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt pitted himself against Republican President Taft and Democrat candidate Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt ran under the Progressive Party banner, which was also called the Bull Moose party. History was made when Roosevelt became the only candidate of a third party to come in second place.

A Mysterious Disease

Oct 24, 2019

On this date in 1912, concern was sweeping through the Dakotas, Kansas and Nebraska. Horses were dying. Back then, farmers still relied on flesh-and-blood horsepower. Losing hundreds of horses throughout the Great Plains was a terrible blow. While tractors were coming into vogue, many farmers could not yet afford the newfangled machines.

On this date in 1903, folks in North Dakota breathed a sigh of relief when they learned that a killer was no longer on the loose. There was quite a bit of excitement surrounding the capture of Albert Beckman in Melrose. Lawmen were concerned that Beckman would put up a fight, and they were also concerned that locals had lynching in mind, outraged by Beckman’s crime.

Harvesting Crunch

Oct 22, 2019

In fall of 1912, the crops seemed bounteous. The Washburn Leader even published a long article by Professor Thomas Shaw, who noted that North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota had produced a crop that was larger and better than in the past two decades, with "conditions for growth, except in a few localities, … almost perfect."

Pledge of Allegiance

Oct 21, 2019

There have been times in North Dakota when students in public schools regularly recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” as a patriotic classroom habit. With hands over hearts, young people saluted the “Star-Spangled Banner,” vowing loyalty to country and flag.

It was on this date, in 1892, that school children in the state spoke the allegiance for the first time, commemorating Columbus Day.

Making Connections

Oct 18, 2019

On this date in 1907, it was announced that a telegraph school opened in Fargo. The Letford Telegraph and Railroad College opened its doors in the Dakota Business College. This was good news as government, businesses, and private citizens all relied on the telegraph.