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.

As Bison Became Rare

Jan 28, 2020

Bison are an ancient species, with fossils tracing their ancestors to over 400,000 years ago in Asia. Scientists believe that at some point, bison began crossing the land bridge that once connected to North America. They spread far and wide, all the way to Mexico and New England. But the largest concentration of bison was here on the Great Plains, with an estimated 60 million of roaming the Midwest. The abundance made bison an excellent source of food and materials for Native Americans. This way of life could have continued, had it not been for the white settlers who hunted the species to near extinction.

The turkey is king of conversation around Thanksgiving, but it was also a hot topic in North Dakota around this time in 1924 because Grand Forks would soon be hosting an All-American Turkey Show on February 12. 

Marian Haraldson

Jan 24, 2020

On this date in 1958, the Northwood Gleaner published an article about a hometown girl in the big city. Marian Haraldson was trying to find her way in show biz. She was used to hard work and being self-sufficient. Born to Harald and Selma Haraldson, Marian grew up on a 320 acre farm near Northwood. She trained at the University of North Dakota and at St. Olaf in Minnesota, and afterward, she went to New York City.

[Dakota Datebook: 100 Years of Women Voting is produced in cooperation with the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.]

The attempt to pass woman’s suffrage in the Dakota Territory was first made in 1868 and 1869 as one of the earliest of its kind in the United States. It passed the House but not the Council, was reworked, and passed the Council, but then the House did not pass it, so the bill failed. Yet the bill did receive much attention around the country, some accurate, some erroneous, and all marking the attitudes that were prevalent.

On this date in 1909, the Golden Valley Chronicle alerted readers to a bill pending in Congress that would deny mineral rights to homesteaders. The Coal Lands Act was introduced by North Dakota Congressman Thomas Marshall. It would give homesteaders title to the surface land while denying them mineral rights.

Second Lieutenant Armand Haugstad of Columbus, North Dakota was a navigator with the 389th Bomb Group based at Darwin, Australia during World War Two. 

On August 17, 1943, B-24 bombers from the group flew a marathon mission to an oil refinery in Borneo.  This refinery provided the Japanese with half their lubricating oil and 60 percent of their aviation fuel.  The mission would take the bombers over 2600 miles round trip and last more than 16 hours.

On this date in 1930, The Fargo Forum announced that US Army Air Corps Lieutenant William Matheny received an award for bravery. Matheny was born and raised in Carrington, North Dakota. He was among the first group of US Army Air Corps pilots to fly a military airplane from the United States to the Canal Zone in Panama.

Mad Prank Punished

Jan 17, 2020

The bizarre cause of a Minot fire was reported on this date in 1916, along with the sadistic story involving the culprit. The fire had occurred in Minot a few days earlier and had consumed the entire Blakey-Roell block. Arthur Hileman was arrested in connection with the fire by the Minot police on a charge of arson and assault.

Like other counties in North Dakota, Mountrail County has a rocky history. The 1873 Dakota Territorial Legislature created the county and named it after a Metis voyageur, but the 1891 North Dakota Legislature eliminated the county and several others, largely due to a lack of settlement.

Huff Hills Ski Area

Jan 15, 2020

When people think of downhill skiing, North Dakota doesn’t come readily to mind. But people have found some good areas for skiing. Starting back in the 1960s, a group of local businesspeople around Mandan decided to start a ski area 16 miles south of the city. Unfortunately, the Twilight Hills venture proved short lived, and the location closed a few years later. However, this first failed attempt help lay the groundwork for the future.