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History 605

History 605 explores the history of South Dakota, the northern Great Plains, and the Midwest. South Dakota’s State Historian Ben Jones will visit with guests about their books, museum exhibits and artifacts, and historic sites in the state and region. Along the way, you’ll learn how to think, not what to think, about history and the people of the past.

The host is Dr. Ben Jones, State Historian and Director of the South Dakota State Historical Society. Ben grew up in Sioux Falls and De Smet, served in various locations around the world while in the USAF. He returned to South Dakota to become Dean of Arts and Sciences at Dakota State University, then served as South Dakota’s 15th Secretary of Education. Along the way, he earned his PhD in history and enjoys sharing history’s insights with all of you.

Latest Episodes
  • Dakota Territory was settled by thousands of Civil War veterans. As Dr. Jones discusses with History 605 guest, USD Provost, and Professor Kurt Hackmer, those vets had a higher rate of combat experiences than the typical Civil War veteran. While the details are murky due to having no medical terminology at that time for conditions such as PTSD, many of those who experienced a great deal of combat dealt with it in interesting ways for the rest of their lives.
  • With Veteran's Day in view, Dr. Jones speaks with filmmaker John Mollison about what he's learned about character from veteran aviators or, as he says, "old guys and their airplanes." John is the recipient of the SD Governor's Award for History and his documentary films of WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans are made with K-12 audiences in mind. John has produced very effective "educator kits" about these aviators' actions. We also discussed their views on character, courage, and service. For more information about John Mollison's work go to: DFCSociety.org or JohnMollison.com.
  • Special Edition: We’re pleased to have the exhibit, “No Child’s Play” come to Sioux Falls and Rapid City in the first two weeks of November 2021.
  • How did Laura Ingalls Wilder come to be one of the nation's best-selling children's writers? By failing to get her autobiography published. In today's episode, Dr. Jones speaks with editor Nancy Koupal on the new book Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts.
  • In this episode of History 605, Dr. Jones speaks with Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Historic Preservation Officer Dianne Desrosier. She shares the meaning and the history of the Wacipi, which is Dakota for "They all dance." Listen in to their discussion on the local meaning of what is commonly referred to with the Algonquian words, Pow Wow.
  • History 605 explores the history of South Dakota, the northern Great Plains, and the Midwest. South Dakota’s State Historian Ben Jones will visit with…
  • State historian Ben Jones talks with Dakota State University Professor Justin Blessinger about General William Henry Harrison Beadle. It's all part of the podcast project History 605.
  • Deadwood epitomizes the wild west. But had it remained as it was in 1876, it wouldn't be here today. It took more than gold, gambling, and gunfire for the…
  • Recently re-released, Historian Andrew Isenberg's book, "The Destruction of the Bison, 1750-1920" was the topic of conversation in the 3rd episode of…
  • General Custer is one of the most written about people in American history. Author Sandy Barnard has spent many years researching his life, the US Army in…