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Dakota Datebook Archive

Sitting Bull to Phil Jackson, cattle to prairie dogs, knoefla to lefse.

This is our Dakota Datebook archive of Datebooks aired from 2003-2017. Find all newer Dakota Datebook essays here.

In partnership with the Historical Society of North Dakota, and 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.

  • 11/26/????: “There’s no place like home,” was a line made famous by Dorothy in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. Four years later, there were 1,500 people who could relate to that line, but they didn’t get home with red slippers. They were aboard the Gripsholm Ship.
  • 12/28/2017: North Dakota’s Supreme Court has changed a fair amount from its early years. Since 1910, members of the bench have been elected on a no-party ballot. In 1930, term limits increased from six to ten years. In 1985, Beryl Levine became the first woman to serve on the court.
  • 12/27/2017: Holiday festivities in Devils Lake in 1922 included many typical events … Christmas services at churches across the city, school Christmas pageants, a Boy Scouts band concert, and another free band concert scheduled for New Year’s Eve. A New Year’s Eve program at the Bethel Evangelical Free Church would offer coffee, jule cake and singing, followed by a watch night service in Norwegian.
  • 12/26/2017: In the Korean War, the U.S. spent 67 billion dollars and deployed 90% of the troops fighting for South Korea. It was a highly unpopular in North Dakota. For many of the soldiers deployed there, it had a different feeling than fighting in World War 2. There seemed to be no clear reason or cause to justify it. However, despite the resistance to the war, 2,600 soldiers from the North Dakota National Guard served in the military during that time, with 800 of them overseas.
  • 12/25/2017: For the Red Cross, December of 1917 was an active season in North Dakota. With loved ones ever closer to the front, there was an urgency to ensure that the boys had the comforts of home as much as possible. Red Cross knitting parties were held across the state. In a three week campaign, over two hundred sweaters were knitted in Eddy County so every soldier from that county would have a warm garment.
  • 12/22/2017: It was 1912, and the holiday season was under way in the community of Britton, North Dakota. Mr. R. Welch gave a well-attended and festive ‘dancing party’, and the first snow of the season had adorned the rolling countryside of Burleigh County, giving the opportunity for sleigh rides. While May and Elva Doan visited with neighbors, Jewell Doan, along with C.A. Anderson and Herman Olson, ventured out into the newly anointed hills to hunt rabbits. With Christmas dinner only a few evenings away, the hunting party bagged 32 rabbits.
  • 12/21/2017: On this date in 1904, two men were standing trial for burglary. Albert Kemper and Joseph Frantz were accused of committing the crime near Overholt. The Ward County Independent had no doubt that the men would be found guilty. The accused were being ably defended by two lawyers, but the newspaper reported that the members of the jury were “on their guard” and were paying close attention. The jury frequently questioned witnesses, a procedure that seems unusual to us today.
  • 12/20/2017: We were at War, and for Carl Kositzky, State Auditor for North Dakota, the Great War had more meaning than many.
  • 12/19/2017: Edgar Allen was born in Kansas and flew as a bomber pilot during World War 2. When the war ended, he stayed in the Army Air Force and was assigned to the 6th Ferry Group in Long Beach California. Allen spent his time flying various planes around the country, mostly surplus aircraft being disposed of by the Air Force.
  • 12/18/2017: At the turn of the Twentieth Century, Henry Ford’s Model T and the Wright Brothers’ airplane were still in the future, but railroads and telegraph lines had already spanned the country. There was a great sense of optimism, a feeling that anything was possible.