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.

Rural Free Delivery

Aug 6, 2019

While today we take rural mail delivery for granted, that was not the case in 1909. On this date that year, there was exciting news for Beach, North Dakota. The Golden Valley Chronicle announced that the Postal Service had approved three rural routes for the area, covering 28 miles.

Theodore Roosevelt’s adherence to honesty was a golden strength of the 26th president. He held the attribute in his heart, actions, and his speeches. For “Old Four Eyes,” truth was a virtue for a cowpuncher, businessman and most certainly a politician.

Although it is a landlocked state, North Dakota has a connection to the sea thanks to James J. Hill. On this date in 1901, the Oakes Republican announced that the Great Northern Steamship Company had acquired the use of two ships from Dodwell and Company. The City of Seattle had already been delivered, and the paperwork for the Duke of Fife would be completed on August 5th. Dodwell and Company would continue to operate the ships as an agent of the Great Northern Steamship Company. The Great Northern had acquired the use of seventeen ships.

Smaller is Better

Aug 1, 2019

North Dakota was the land of bonanza farms. They were first established in the Red River Valley after John Wesley Powell’s study of the Great Plains in the 1870s. He felt that a larger scale of irrigation would result in more land coming under cultivation. In his opinion, the family-owned farms of the Homestead Act were unable to cultivate the land in the way needed to get the most out of it. Soon after his analysis, the bonanza farms began to spring up.

President Roosevelt was nominated for re-election this week in 1904. In his autobiography, TR included some amusing stump stories about that campaign.

Prior to World War I, several experimental, military-based training programs were established for young civilians. In 1915 and 1916, the graduates of these camps sparked the formation of the Military Training Camps Association. However, when the US entered World War I, the association suggested that any proposed civilian camps be converted for officers' training.

When you hear the term “prison rodeo” the first thing that might spring to mind is inmates causing a ruckus, but you might be surprised to know that a prison rodeo is in fact a traditional rodeo except inmates are the ones participating. 

Round Barns

Jul 26, 2019

For many decades, a barn was the most important building on North Dakota farms, protecting the livestock from the harsh weather. Pioneers built simple barns for oxen, cows, or horses, and sturdier barns when they could afford it, with spacious haylofts to provide sufficient fodder for the long winters.

Cowboy Stories

Jul 25, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt was a natural storyteller. His summers spent with cowboys and cavalry men provided a wealth of opportunities to add to his repertoire.

Judge John Sad

Jul 24, 2019

Norwegians make up one of the larger ethnic groups in North Dakota, with almost 1 in 3 boasting Norwegian heritage as of 2009. That’s the highest percentage in the country. This is no surprise, as Norwegians have been immigrating to North Dakota since the late 1800s. The first Norwegian immigrants came in 1869 and settled along the Red River Valley, but it was not until 1880 that Norwegians began coming en masse. From 1892 to 1905, one fourth of the immigrants coming to North Dakota were Norwegian.