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140th Anniversary of Custer's Black Hills Expedition Observed

In 1874, the U.S. Government sent General George Custer on an expedition into the Black Hills to find a location for a new army fort and investigate the area’s natural resources. The confirmation of gold drew thousands of whites into the Black Hills in violation of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie which granted ownership of the Black Hills to the Lakota people.

The Custer County Historical Society observes the 140th anniversary of the Custer expedition on Saturday, September 6 in the Custer High School Theater. The presentation includes a close look at photographs and historic artifacts along with stories from the expedition with Paul Horsted, Ernest Grafe and Jon Nelson, authors of two books about the Custer Expedition, Exploring with Custer, and Crossing the Plains with Custer.

Paul Horsted joined Dakota Midday and discussed the 1874 Black Hills Expedition and the Saturday event. For more information, clickhere.

Karl was born to northeastern South Dakota crouton farmers, but was orphaned as a toddler during the Great Salad War (1966-67). Rescued by a flock of chickadees, he grew up in the woodlands of Sica Hollow. Legends of a bird boy living in the trees attracted the interest of renowned ornithologist and amateur bandoneon repairman Dr. Vogel Gehrke. With a handful of suet, Dr. Gehrke coaxed the timid boy down from the trees. He adopted him, named him Karl and taught him not to molt on the carpet. Dr. Gehrke’s book, The Bird Boy of Sica Hollow, was a best seller and Karl became a minor celebrity and teen idol. He appeared as a guest star on numerous television programs, most notably an awkward role on The Love Boat as the boyfriend of Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki. After critics panned his 1980 album, Bird Boy Does Disco, Karl retreated from public life and returned to Sica Hollow. Living in an isolated tree house, Karl achieved a reputation as a mystic. Pilgrims and seekers from around the world came to ask him about the meaning of life and for vinaigrette recipes. Growing tired of answering questions, he climbed down from his tree, shaved his massive white beard and took a job as the host of SDPB Radio’s Dakota Midday where he could ask the questions instead. After three years in that position, he ran out of questions and became host of Jazz Nightly instead. Karl makes his home in Vermillion with his charming wife Kari and three delightful children, Kodey, Kasey and Spatula. His hobbies include reciting the alphabet, combing his hair and doing volunteer work with delinquent songbirds.