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Arts & Life

South Dakota History
  • Much of history is an attempt to understand culture, and language is a window to culture like nothing else. So how can we understand the immigrants on the Northern Plains if we don’t speak their language? In the late 19th century, Germans left Europe in massive numbers and thousands settled in what is now South Dakota. What kind of culture did they bring with them? What kind of culture was created by them mixing with other cultures on the Northern Plains? German newspapers provide a great deal of insight on that and Istvan Gambocz has the rare talent to understand this aspect of South Dakota’s history. His article in the Fall 2021 South Dakota History won the Herbert S. Schell Prize for the best essay of the year.
  • More than 600 marks. A team of archaeologists has recorded every inscription on the stones that make up Fort Meade's old rifle range target wall.It's part of an effort to preserve the history of Fort Meade, which operated near Sturgis from 1878 until 1944.
  • The breaking of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty and the creation of several smaller reservations in western South Dakota is often thought to have been President Ulysses Grant’s intent. However, historian Mary Stockwell argues in her book that Grant attempted to pursue a different policy, which included citizenship for American Indians. But despite his wishes, he was unable to make that happen. Understanding his circumstances is key to understanding a great deal of South Dakota’s history. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Mary Stockwell, the author of “Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians.”

More Arts & Life stories

  • Throughout the series, elders have shared experiences of pain and loss, joy and triumph. Although work for justice, equity, and reparations continues, elders make it clear that through community and perseverance there are no challenges the nation can't overcome.In this final segment, you will hear "Woksape," or Words of Encouragement, for all Lakota youth, present and future.
  • In the 1970s, "Ms." Magazine made a name for itself as a source of feminist news and ideas.Founded by activist Gloria Steinem, Ms. Magazine has often been at the forefront on issues of women's healthcare, domestic violence, and the wage gap. Today it continues to uplift artists and writers. The magazine is the inspiration for an exhibit at the Dahl Arts center.