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.


Women have been serving as police officers for more than a century in the United States. While the earliest of these women is not known, there are records that show a Marie Owens on duty with the Chicago Police Department in the 1890s.


James J. Hill is a big name in the railroading history of the Great Plains, earning his nickname “The Empire Builder.”  In 1878, Hill teamed up with several other investors to purchase the financially ailing St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, which was renamed the Great Northern Railway.


The United States Postal Service has a long history stretching back over two centuries, to when Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General. By 1863, door-to-door delivery was established where the income could cover the cost; prior to that, a person had to pick up their mail at the post office.


Life in McKenzie County was a new experience for the Reverend Richard C. Jahn. The twenty-year-old seminary student had answered a call for a minister from Schafer, North Dakota in the fall of 1915. He traveled by train from Missouri to reach his new post by November, and found lodging with a bachelor homesteader in a cabin about twenty miles east of Watford City.

Somewhere in France

Jan 10, 2018


 With the North Dakota boys now on foreign soil, news from the front was anxiously awaited, but censorship rules had tightened.  Most censored items dealt with the general movement of troops and supplies.  

On September 8, 1897, the Presentation Sisters opened St. John’s Orphanage and Free School in Fargo. The building used to house St. Joseph’s Convent and Academy, but the convent shifted that year to the Sacred Heart Academy, making room for the new orphan school.

Devils Lake Fire

Jan 8, 2018


On this date in 1909, the Devils Lake Inter-Ocean reported on a devastating fire. It started in the kitchen of the Routier Restaurant early in the morning.

Thorstein Thoresen

Jan 5, 2018


On January 6, 1919, Thorstein Thoresen took over the Dunn County states attorney post. A man of high principles and morality, Thoresen was a statesman and politician.

If you’ve travelled around the Midwest, you may have seen signs for Butler Machinery. While you may have known it specializes in heavy equipment, you may not have known that this expanding company has its roots right here in North Dakota.

Fargo’s namesake had a hand in the community’s early journalism. Banker William G. Fargo offered five hundred dollars to establish a newspaper in Fargo to be named the Fargo Express.