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.


The Federal Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution passed through the U.S. House and Senate on June 4th, 1919; and thereafter, suffragists rallied, cajoled, hoped and prayed that their united dream would triumph as the bill was sent out to the states to be approved by a three fourths majority. The amendment was known colloquially as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, as she had drafted it many years before.


Today is the birthday of Frank Bennett Fiske, born in southern Dakota Territory in 1883. Frank was just a baby when his father, George, left the military and tried his hand at ranching. The drought of 1888 brought that line of work to an end, and the following spring, George and Louise Fiske moved their family to Fort Yates, where George got a job as a civilian wagon master for the Army.


North Dakota’s Capitol grounds reflect events of the state’s past. A statue of Sakakawea was dedicated in 1910 to honor the Shoshone woman who helped the Corps of Discovery journey west. A memorial honors military veterans, and there’s also a memorial for peace officers who fell in the line of duty.

In the early spring of 1910, Theodore Roosevelt was being courted by Governor L.B. Hanna and others to allow a statue of TR to erected in North Dakota. The statue was to be sculpted by noted Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The location proposed was the campus of the North Dakota Agricultural College, today’s NDSU.

Norway Royal Couple

Jun 8, 2020

North Dakota is no stranger to visiting dignitaries. In addition to presidents and first ladies, foreign and royal officials have visited the Peace Garden State over the years. The Deuce of August celebration in Mountain, North Dakota, has drawn Icelandic officials, including the prime minister.


Early Fargo had earned a reputation the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican called “a commercial, financial and railroad center of North Dakota with excellent schools and colleges.”  That progress was nearly destroyed in one harrowing hot afternoon in 1893 with the start of the great Fargo Fire. 

The anniversary of the fire is coming up this Sunday, and back in 1910, on the 17th anniversary, the Fargo Forum recounted the story of the disaster.

YMCA Basketball

Jun 4, 2020


It is a well-known fact that Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball in December of 1891 because his students in Massachusetts needed a way to burn off some energy in his wintertime gymnasium class. Because he had a small space, he wanted to keep the young men from tackling or barging into each other during the game, as in rugby or football. To prevent injuries from having a ball hit or thrown as hard as possible, as was done in baseball or lacrosse, he wrote up a list of 13 rules for a game that could be played indoors or outdoors and in any size space while safely providing plenty of “healthy and invigorating” exercise.

Dakota Zoo

Jun 3, 2020


The Dakota Zoo in Bismarck opened its gates for the first time on this date in 1961. The attraction grew out of a private business known as the Christianson Farm. On the north edge of the city, Marc and Betty Christianson had kennels to board domesticated animals like cats, dogs and horses. At a certain point, they also began to raise mink.


In early June of 1915, there were second-fiddle headlines to US President Woodrow Wilson making plans to send a message to the German Kaiser over the sinking of the Lusitania. What was this adjoining  big news that the Fargo Forum featured on nearly one third of the front page? It was a welcome to Fargo for the nearly 700 Shriners heading to the city.

Peregrine Falcons

Jun 1, 2020

In 1990, a pair of peregrine falcons, an endangered species, showed up near the top of the First Interstate Bank in Fargo. They appeared to be looking for a nest site, so a nesting tray was quickly installed near the top of the east wall. Unfortunately, the female departed during the process, and after several weeks, the male also moved on. For the next nine years, a single wild peregrine spent a few days at the bank each May. Many believe it was the original female, now retracing her migration path to the Arctic.