Mandan | Prairie Public Broadcasting


Federal Lawsuit Over Mandan Mural

Aug 2, 2019
Bismark Tribune

The city of Mandan will not enforce its law requiring citizens to apply for a permit to paint murals until a federal lawsuit over the matter is settled. The ordinance caused controversy this past spring, when it required the owners of Lonesome Dove bar to remove their mural depicting a cowboy during sunset after their application for a permit was denied three times. Owners, Brian Burbe and August Kersten, filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District of North Dakota against the city of Mandan on July 29th.

On this date in 1912, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Myron R. Kent quietly passed away in the state penitentiary. The news did not cause much of a stir. But at one time, Kent was at the center of what had been dubbed “the most remarkable trial in the annals of the west.”

Intertribal Warfare

Feb 28, 2019

Long before white settlers came to the region, Native tribes farmed, hunted, and worshipped here. While their numbers were small (barely one person per square mile), the different tribes would still come into frequent contact. While sometimes this was for trade or celebration, other times the tribes would clash.

On this date in 1938, twenty Mandan Pioneer Daughters met with their Bismarck counterparts at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Bismarck. The Daughters consisted of women descended from pioneers who had settled in the area before North Dakota became a state. The women had a deep interest in history and wanted to preserve it for the future.

One of President Buchanan’s last acts was to sign the Organic Act, which created Dakota territory. Consequently, the territory was just two days old when President Lincoln took office in 1861. He appointed many of Dakota’s first officials, including two governors, four territorial Supreme Court justices and three marshals. But after his assassination in eighteen sixty-five (1865), Lincoln’s legacy continued in Dakota Territory and present day North Dakota.

About eight miles north of Bismarck is a bluff on which the Mandan Indians once had a thriving village called Double Ditch Village, which is designated as a significant historic site. Double Ditch overlooks the Missouri River. It was made up of at least 150 earthlodges that used a sturdy architectural system unique to the Mandan, Hidatsas and Arikaras. These lodges were dome-shaped, made of logs and earth that could house families of eight to twenty people. The size of an earthlodge was usually decided by the men, but the women were the primary builders. Several early explorers recorded their relief at being able to stay in a warm earthlodge during their winter travels.

Hebron’s History

Oct 22, 2018

Early businesses helped build many of the small towns along the railroad in North Dakota. General stores, banks, newspapers, post offices – every little town had something.

In Hebron, North Dakota, the most notable was its clay brick plant that gave the town its nickname “The Brick City.” When the brick production started back in 1904, horses and wagons transported the clay. Later trains hauled in the material. Over time, the plant grew. Just under five million bricks were produced in 1914 – and more than eight million bricks in 1916.

Forget-Me-Not Day

Sep 24, 2018

Supporting America’s troops has taken different forms throughout the years. The Great War was still in recent memory when various groups spread out throughout Bismarck-Mandan to sell handmade forget-me-nots to honor and support disabled American military veterans in 1937. On this date, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Governor Bill Langer had declared the following day as “Forget-Me-Not Day.”

The Marquis de Mores cultivated a short-lived cattle empire during his time in Dakota Territory. But a long-running murder allegation also defined his time out west. De Mores wasn’t popular in the Badlands. He had enemies who despised him for everything from how he acquired his land, to his ambitious cattle operation, to his development of Medora—even xenophobia. After all, he was a French aristocrat – not from these parts. But when the Marquis fenced his land, that really lit the fuse.

Most people spend their summers swimming, grilling, and enjoying the sunshine. However, in the summer of 1987, the Mandan police spent their time investigating a petty crime that went to the North Dakota Supreme Court.