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.

On this date in 1912, the Jamestown Weekly Alert announced two more towns would spring up near Jamestown. C.S. Buck filed a plat for the town of Sydney, and Jamestown Junction would be situated between Jamestown and Sydney, on the Midland Railway line.

Rest in Peace

Oct 2, 2019

On this date in 1908 it was announced that an odd railroad shipment would head out of Fort Yates. The bodies and tombstones of officers, enlisted men, civilians, and Indians buried there were being transported for reburial in Keokuk, Iowa. This had to do with Fort Yates being decommissioned in 1903, which meant the cemetery there was no longer being cared for. It was overgrown with weeds, and the tombstones were tipping over. It made sense to move the bodies to an active fort with a cemetery caretaker.

As we heard last week, the first North Dakota Industrial Exposition was held in Bismarck in 1911. It was a smashing success, and plans were immediately made to repeat it the following year, and it was on this date in 1912 that the Second North Dakota Industrial Exposition opened in Bismarck. The expositions were designed to bring in out-of-state visitors and encourage investment in North Dakota. The state hoped for thousands of new settlers.

In 1914 a Centennial Exposition was held in Kristiana, Norway to recognize the passage of the Norwegian Constitution in 1814. The exhibition was seven years in the planning and was a wild success. Among the 1.5 million visitors was Governor L.B. Hanna of North Dakota. The state has long had close ties to Norway. In fact, two North Dakota governors were native Norwegians. It was said that being born in Norway was as politically advantageous as being a native North Dakotan.

The roots of Valley City State University extend all the way back to North Dakota’s first year as a state, when the school, and one in Mayville, were constitutionally established as teachers’ colleges, which were called normal schools. The normal school in Valley City first operated out of the high school, but it quickly needed more space and moved into commercial buildings.

On this date in 1911, the city of Bismarck was bedecked in its finest as throngs of people attended the opening of North Dakota's first Industrial Exposition.  The Bismarck Tribune noted, "It was with no blare of trumpets nor sound of cymbals that the first Industrial Exposition opened its doors this afternoon, but with a quiet and gracefulness, delightful to behold, the machinery was set in motion, which will continue for twenty days."

As we heard earlier this month, Old Settlers Reunions were once common throughout North Dakota. It was an opportunity for neighbors living on widely separated homesteads to get together and socialize. The reunions were also designed to attract new settlers.

The SS Admiral Sampson was a cargo and passenger steamship built for the American Mail Steamship Company in 1898. In 1909 both the Sampson and her sister ship the Farragut were purchased by the Alaska Pacific Steamship Company. Based in San Francisco, they provided passenger and cargo service between that city and the Puget Sound and sometimes all the way to Alaska.

There was a great deal of excitement in Devils Lake on this date in 1910. Dan Brennan of the law firm Brennan and Brennan had been shot following a raid to clean up the city’s blind pigs and bawdy houses.

On this date in 1933, citizens of North Dakota were prepping for a special statewide election.

The vote was on seven measures – two minor amendments to the constitution; three referred measures that involved insolvent banks, state sales tax, and a law providing for the removal of commissioners of the workman’s compensation bureau. There was also an initiated measure about the manufacture, sale, and distribution of beer; and another that would permit the operation of moving picture theaters on Sundays.