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.

Fire Company No. 1

Aug 20, 2019

Fires were a constant threat on the Great Plains. It was a particular threat to towns, with wooden buildings located close to each other. On this date in 1908, Hope, North Dakota was hit by fire. The workshop of the T.A. Lyons harness shop went up in flames, a fire that spread rapidly to the attic Fulmer and Brimer’s jewelry store. The oil heater on the stitching machine in the harness shop had overheated. The shop had closed for lunch, so the fire had ten minutes to grow before it was noticed by passersby.

In the heat of summer in 1885, at Fort Abraham Lincoln, on the west bank of the Missouri River, Captain Macauley saw something he had never seen before.

The river had spawned millions of mosquitoes and their bites were so bad that Captain Macauley could only remain outdoors if he wore heavy riding boots, “thick trousers, leather gauntlets,” a head-net, and a neckerchief tucked between his hat and shirt-collar.

John Clark Salyer II

Aug 16, 2019

On this date in 1902 in Higginsville, Missouri, John Clark Salyer II, the father of the National Wildlife Refuge System, was born. To those who knew him growing up, this title makes sense. As a teenager, he got permission to leave school early and run his trapline in the marshes. He would catch foxes, raccoons, skunks, and opossums, which earned him up to $750 a year. He used that money to pay for his college degree.

Birth Registration

Aug 15, 2019

Birth certificates seem integral to us today, but it was a while for this relatively recent document became commonplace. While the state of North Dakota has birth records back into the early 1900s, and some even before then, not every birth was reported. There were a variety of reasons as to why — the area was not very populated; they didn’t know who to report the birth to; and women often gave birth at home, with the help of friends, families, midwives, and others, who did not follow through with any documentation.

The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged people to take a chance on settling the Great Plains. Any citizen or intended citizen could lay claim to 160 acres. They had to live on the land for five years and make improvements like building a house and planting trees and crops. By 1903, much of that “free” land was already in the hands of settlers and unavailable to new pioneers. Much of the land that was available was in the hands of land speculators.

In his first year in office, President Theodore Roosevelt, after the assassination of William McKinley, embarked as “Designer in Chief.” He officially christened the executive mansion The White House, Washington, DC.

A Sore Reunion

Aug 12, 2019

Lewis and Clark Reunion Bay is listed as one of North Dakota’s tourist attractions. In this park near New Town, you can camp, picnic, launch your boat, hike, or just relax. There is even a ferry called the Island Girl that makes trips into the bay for people enjoy the waters of Lake Sakakawea.  While the bay and the ferry might be great places for a reunion, the bay actually got its name because Lewis and Clark reunited there on this date in 1806 after separating for a month during the return east.

Last week, listeners heard about the first Citizens' Military Training Camp in North Dakota, at Fort Lincoln in 1928. It was attended by 525 boys from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. On this date, they were settling in and making great use of the area.

August in North Dakota is often a time for rain. The hot and humid conditions can create severe weather conditions, such as raging thunderstorms or tornados. But apart from these well known weather hazards, those conditions can also create downbursts. Unlike tornados, whose winds spiral, downbursts shoot straight down, then rocket off in every direction. The resulting winds can be well over 100 miles per hour and are highly destructive, especially on the plains where there is little to resist them. On this date in 2001, the area around Walsh and Grand Forks counties experienced one such downburst.

She was a “charming lyric soprano” with a “voice like a nightingale.” Her name was Nora Fauchald and she was a noteworthy Norwegian-American singer and vocal teacher for fifty years. And for several of those years, she was a soprano soloist with the legendary band of John Philip Sousa.