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Education
History

Dakota Datebook

By Prairie Public

Education
History
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Stories of things that happened in North Dakota and vicinity. Sitting Bull to Phil Jackson, cattle to prairie dogs, knoefla to lefse. 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.

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Stories of things that happened in North Dakota and vicinity. Sitting Bull to Phil Jackson, cattle to prairie dogs, knoefla to lefse. 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.

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Top 10 Episode of Dakota Datebook

Rank #1: The Football Game

Dec 12 2018
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On this date in 1894, the Fargo Agricultural College football team won the inter-collegiate state championship. It beat the Grand Forks University team by a score of 24 to 4. It was not a game that was won without a bit of controversy. The object of contention involved a disputed player on each team.

Rank #2: Cornerstone of Bismarck High School

Dec 11 2018
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Bismarck High School is a very historic building, having been constructed in 1935, in the hard-times of the Great Depression. The three-story structure has distinctive Art Deco architecture – with vertical decorative lines cut into stone along the doorways and between the rows of windows – simple, yet stylish. The architect was Robert A. Ritterbush (1891-1980), a native of Oakes and a 1917 architectural graduate of what is now called the University of Cincinnati.

Rank #3: Gorman Dogfight

Dec 10 2018
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On this date in 1948, Lieutenant George Gorman wrote a letter stating, “… the Air Materiel Command has issued orders classifying the information as Secret. And this makes it a General Court Martial to release any more information. The Command has asked that my commanding officer and myself be court-martialed for releasing what information we did .” The incident the young lieutenant was referring to has since become known as the Gorman Dogfight , one of the early “classics” in UFO history.

Rank #4: Lloyd Rigler

Dec 07 2018
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Lloyd Rigler, entrepreneur and avid arts philanthropist, was born in Lehr, North Dakota in 1915. When he was four, the family moved to Wishek. He learned about business in his parents’ general store where he started running his own counter, selling gift items and greeting cards, when he was only 11.

Rank #5: The Story of Curly

Dec 06 2018
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Lieutenant Colonel George Custer was based at Fort Abraham Lincoln at Mandan. He rode out of the fort on May 17th, 1876 and never returned. On this date in 1907, the Washburn Leader printed a letter with memories of the Little Big Horn massacre. Letter writer Grant Marsh was a riverboat pilot and captain. His exploits on the Upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers are legendary.

Rank #6: Irving Gardner

Dec 05 2018
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In 1881, a 21-year-old bachelor named Irving Gardner headed to Hope, North Dakota, to homestead. As he later wrote, he was unprepared for what lay ahead of him.

Rank #7: The State vs. Mary Wright

Dec 04 2018
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On this date in 1908, Mary Wright was a topic of conversation throughout North Dakota. In August of that year she was arrested and held in jail at Devils Lake. She was accused of killing her 16-year-old stepdaughter, Beulah Cox. Authorities originally theorized that Wright was jealous of the girl and put poison in her food. Wright and her stepdaughter boarded on the farm where they worked. Many witnesses testified to the many arguments between the two.

Rank #8: Territorial Supreme Court

Dec 03 2018
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When Dakota Territory was created, that also meant organizing its Supreme Court, which was seated at Yankton in southern Dakota for many years. President Lincoln originally appointed three justices – Philemon Bliss, Joseph L. Williams and George P. Williston. Bliss was Dakota’s first chief justice. The men were also trial judges who presided over districts of the territory, so they hardly idled away their days.

Rank #9: Rolette Fire Department

Nov 30 2018
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One thing that hasn’t changed much throughout the history of North Dakota’s small towns is their volunteer departments. Most communities in the state are served by volunteers for fire and ambulance. Rolette met the need soon after its founding in 1905 where the Great Northern and Soo railroads crossed.

Rank #10: The Chance of a Lifetime

Nov 29 2018
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On this date in 1906, the Hope Pioneer announced a spectacular opportunity. The Woman’s Club had arranged for the Leonora Jackson Company of Chicago to perform in Hope on December 26. The newspaper called such a quality concert “the chance of a lifetime” for the residents of Hope and the surrounding area.