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.

Canada Fever

Nov 20, 2019

On this date in 1908, readers of the Washburn Leader learned that John Kirshenman had been cured of Canada fever. He returned to McClusky after an absence of three weeks. He said he learned that the “promised land” of Canada was not so promised after all. After battling five feet of snow and frigid temperatures, North Dakota looked pretty good to him. He told anyone tempted to venture north that “there is no place on God’s green earth as good as this place right here.”

"In God We Trust"

Nov 19, 2019

One of President Theodore Roosevelt’s losing arguments was based on the phrase “In God We Trust” on America’s coinage. First adopted for coinage in 1865 and years later named the U.S. motto, President Roosevelt was opposed to the slogan when it was re-considered for new coinage during his administration.

Smokes for the Boys

Nov 15, 2019

On this date in 1917, the Hope Pioneer ran picture of a check on the front page. The check was in the amount of $21.25. It was made out to the American Tobacco Company. The headline asked, “Do You Have an Interest in This Check?” The check, said the newspaper, meant “comfort for the boys in France.” The rather modest sum represented 85 smoking kits.

The Great War came to an end at eleven a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. But while the fighting was over, it wasn’t really the end of the war. It was only the beginning of the end. On this date in 1918, North Dakota Senator McCumber drew attention to the dire conditions in Europe where “our boys” were still stationed. He noted that Europe had been devastated, “a desert, defaced by flame and pitted by shell holes.” Many of the simplest items needed to ease the suffering of wounded and sick soldiers were unavailable. McCumber urged support for the United War Work Campaign.

On this date in 1908, the Devils Lake Inter-Ocean informed readers of Phil Shortt’s funeral, held the previous Sunday. Shortt was well known and liked in his adopted town. The newspaper knew his passing would be of interest. Shortt was only thirty-nine years old and his death was a shock.


Nov 12, 2019

On this date in 1909, the Billings County Livestock Protective Association gave a warning to potential livestock rustlers. There would be serious risk for stealing the animals of association members. That’s because the association was offering a $500 reward for information that led to the arrest and conviction of the thief. That reward was the equivalent of about $14,000 in today’s money.

Teddy's Bear

Nov 11, 2019

President Theodore Roosevelt, could not have dreamt that his frustrating November bear would launch the birth of, arguably, the most famous toy in the world. TR was invited by the Mississippi Governor in 1902 to join a bear hunt. Uncharacteristically, avid hunter Roosevelt was skunked among the hunting guests for three days.

Collegiate football has always been a contact sport, but in its early days, which began in the late 1870s, it was particularly deadly. The game had not developed the forward pass, and there was regular fighting, with fists thrown. Scoring was mostly made by kicking the football to the goal. Bones were snapped, eyes were gouged, and men were even killed. Flimsy equipment, leather helmets and mere sweaters were little protection for the players – many of them illegally hired by colleges.

If you were to drive about 8 miles north-northeast of Hazen, you would find two cemeteries and an old flour mill. If you got out and walked around, you might be lucky enough to chance upon an old basement. These are the remnants of Krem, short for Crimea, a name given to it from the many German-Russian immigrants that settled there around the early 1900s. Although it is abandoned now, Krem was once a strong contender for the Mercer County seat against Stanton, nearly taking it in 1906.

On November 11, 1918, church bells rang out across the United States and, indeed, across Canada and all of Europe. The war to end all wars was over. The Great War that came to be known as World War I ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The Treaty of Versailles wasn’t signed for another seven months. But the moment the fighting ended is generally viewed as the end of the war. The world breathed a sigh of relief. People could return to peaceful pursuits. But there was also the matter of solemnly remembering the deaths and the massive sacrifice.