Dakota Datebook | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Dakota Datebook

6:42 am, 8:42 am, 3:50 pm*, 5:44 pm, and 7:50 pm* CT
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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.

Red River Carts

Oct 17, 2019

On this date in 1907, the Wahpeton Times reminded readers of a historical artifact unique to the region: the two-wheeled Red River cart. C.W. Andrews of Walhalla had loaned a cart to the State Historical Society. He thought it was important to save this reminder of the state’s past.

There was great rejoicing in Washburn on this date in 1908. After many unfulfilled promises, the Soo Line was making a concrete effort to build a new depot. The new depot was to be a grand structure with two waiting rooms and office space. This was no empty promise. The lumber had arrived. It was a sure thing. Washburn would no longer have to witness the look of disappointment on the faces of people arriving at the old shabby depot.

Theodore Roosevelt made a calculated gesture this week in 1901 that challenged the nation’s racial sensitivity. The president invited a well-known African American scholar, friend and advisor, Booker T. Washington, for dinner at the White House. When Washington, who was the founder of the Tuskegee Institute, shared repast with the Roosevelt family, it sent the Southern press and others into apoplectic furor.

Bold Burglars

Oct 14, 2019

On this date in 1915 North Dakotans learned that a familiar face was once again in trouble with the law. The Ward County Independent informed readers that J.J. King was back in custody after a short taste of freedom. He had recently been released from the penitentiary after doing time for stealing a wagon and team in Donnybrook and taking it to Canada.

Verne Leslie Skjonsby of Hickson, North Dakota is remembered in the US Naval Academy Virtual Memorial Hall with words written upon his graduation. In part is reads: “…wherever he may wander to, he will radiate a warmth of friendship and a strength of character that success is sure to follow.”

The Bull Moose

Oct 10, 2019

Some Republicans were relieved when Teddy Roosevelt was named as McKinley’s vice president since it was so rare for a vice president to become president. One Roosevelt opponent breathed a sigh of relief saying, “Now that darned cowboy will never be president.” That abruptly changed when an assassin shot and killed President McKinley, making Roosevelt the President.

The North Dakota Votes for Women League was organized in 1911. The organization was inspired by a visit from Sylvia Pankhurst, the noted English suffragette. On this date in 1912 the North Dakota Votes for Women League announced that their conference would be held at Fargo’s Civic Center on October 18. Every woman in the state was invited.

A P-40 Warhawk is on display at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot. It’s the type of plane flown by North Dakota native, Oswin Elker, who served with distinction in WWII with the Flying Tigers.  He was shot down twice, and escaped both times through enemy territory. A hanger at the museum is named for Oswin.

Oswin didn’t fly the Warhawk at the museum, but the plane is part of the interesting history of Granger Taylor, who was born in British Columbia on this date in 1948. He was very intelligent, but was shy and introverted, spending many hours alone. He quit school after the eighth grade and went to work for a mechanic. Taylor, as it turned out, was a mechanical genius, who could fix almost anything.

Sauerkraut. The very word, brings to mind pungent thoughts, smells and memories. Overpowering aromas of zesty, naturally fermented cabbage – called “sour cabbage” – empowers strong reactions.

Either you love sauerkraut or you don’t.

The German-Russians who founded the town of Wishek embraced sauerkraut, holding it close to their collective hearts, so much so, that Wishek has become the self-proclaimed “Sauerkraut Capital of the World.” Every second Wednesday of October, the townspeople celebrate “Sauerkraut Day” – the day when all who come to Wishek get treated to a meal of sauerkraut with wieners and mashed potatoes. A sauerkraut feast served for free.

Roosevelt on Books

Oct 4, 2019

October is National Book Month, and TR is the writing champ of all the US Presidents, having penned some 35 books, which also include compilations of his hundreds of essays and articles.

The prolific president with a pen made more income from his prodigious writing than from any of his government jobs. One of his books is entitled “A Booklovers Holidays in the Open.” Two of his books about the West were written while in Medora.  In October of 1913 alone, he turned out four books including his long-awaited autobiography.  He was also an avid reader. Historians estimate that he read 20,000 books in his lifetime.