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.


On this date in 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the federal woman’s suffrage bill, meeting the three fourths majority required to pass the 19th Amendment. The bill had easily passed the Tennessee Senate, but had remained deadlocked in the State House of Representatives. Finally, young Harry Burn, whose own constituents were locked in debate and swelling in anti-suffrage ranks, changed his “nay” to an “aye,” creating uproar in the room. Another representative, a staunch anti-suffragist, changed his vote as well so that he could propose voting again, but nothing would change—suffrage passed.


Catching the thieves who stole his boat is one of the most storied adventures of Theodore Roosevelt during his time in the Badlands. The future president and his two ranch hands faced frigid cold, icy water and dwindling supplies to subdue the three thieves on the Little Missouri River. He marched them south to Dickinson for justice.


Following the August 1974 tsunami of attention over Richard Nixon’s resignation and Gerald Ford becoming the new President, local citizens were adjusting to a new political climate.

The Great Depression

Aug 13, 2020


In 1936, in the midst of the "dirty thirties," August was just one in a long line of drought-stricken months.  North and South Dakota were the only states that had designated all of their counties as emergency drought areas. From Stark County alone, 236 emergency grant applications had been made to the Federal Resettlement Administration.

The Badlands Babies

Aug 12, 2020


President Theodore Roosevelt’s time in what is now North Dakota is known for the hunting and ranching that helped soothe his soul and form his outlook on conservation. There are many famous episodes: his persistent pursuit of his first bison, chasing boat thieves down the Little Missouri River, and giving his Fourth of July speech in Dickinson.

Ancient Survivor

Aug 11, 2020


On this date in 1916, it was announced that North Dakota would help supply the dining cars of the Northern Pacific Railroad. A Montpelier farmer secured a contract to provide cucumbers and muskmelons. North Dakota would also supply snapping turtles! One thousand pounds of turtles had shipped from Jamestown.


In 1889, who could vote and how they could vote became a keen part of the debates during North Dakota's Constitutional Convention.  A. S. Parsons of Mandan headed the standing committee on elective franchise that examined voting rules.  Regarding women's suffrage, newspapers noted that this chairman was “unfriendly to the scheme in any shape or form.” Consequently, full enfranchisement was not awarded to women in the constitution, but they were granted the right to vote for school officials, a right they had also held under the territorial laws.

Nixon Resigns

Aug 7, 2020


A stunned American nation learned this week in 1974 that President Richard Nixon had chosen to resign the office of President of the United States of America. In doing so, Nixon was the first chief executive in the nation’s history to step down. 


On this date in 1945, the United States detonated a nuclear bomb above the Japanese town of Hiroshima. This along with one dropped on Nagasaki three days later resulted in the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on August 15th.


Aug 5, 2020


In the mid 19th century amateur footraces became popular and were held on cinder and dirt roads with estimated distances. It was common entertainment to gamble on these races, but unfortunately they were very easy to fix. “Under the table” deals would be made with the runners. Athletes would get a cut of the swindler’s profit when they purposefully lost, and the trusting spectators were conned, or “grifted.” Later gangs of grifters would make a living staging all kinds of sporting events, from horse races to boxing matches.