Artifacts Roadshow At Vore Buffalo Jump

Jun 8, 2016
Kenzie Wagner / SDPB

The Vore Buffalo Jump is off the beaten path, but just barely. It’s about 300 feet from Interstate 90 near the town of Beulah, in the Wyoming part of the Black Hills.   

Archaeologists, scientists, and tourists frequent the site to learn about Native people who hunted buffalo using the natural sinkhole starting in the late 1500’s.

The Vore Buffalo jump was discovered during the construction of Interstate 90. Native people used the steep slopes of the sinkhole to capture buffalo.

The South Dakota State Historical Society is releasing a new book next year on the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It builds on “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography,” published in 2014.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has designated today as an official recognition of 50 years since the war in Vietnam.  To commemorate, Dakota Midday welcomes Vietnam veterans Grace Dwyer and Jim Teller along with Shirley Redmond, Public Affairs Director for the Sioux Falls VA.  Dwyer and Teller shared stories of their service and coming home.

Native History Bill Fails, Opponents Say Issue Still Important

Feb 22, 2016

Legislation to require more teaching of tribal history in South Dakota schools failed its first committee hearing in the State Legislature.  
Some educators say an effort is already underway to increase the teaching of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota culture in the state.  Those backing the bill say more needs to be done.


Ben Jones is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of History at Dakota State University. He’s an Air Force veteran and he’s taught at the Air Force Academy. He also served as an advisor to the National Military Academy in Afghanistan. 

He joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to discuss his new book "Eisenhower's Guerillas: The Jedburghs, The Maquis, and the Liberation of France."

For more information about the book, click below:

Dakota Midday: Holocaust Awareness Day

Jan 27, 2016
Augustana University

In recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, author Patrick Hicks joined SDPB's Kealey Bultena to discuss his research and visits to the historical sites that served as Nazi death camps in Europe.  Hicks is the author of over 10 books including The Commandant of Lubizek.  He is Writer-in-Residence at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.

Giago Starts Non-Profit To Buy Wounded Knee Site

Jan 26, 2016

An Oglala Lakota newspaper publisher has started a campaign to buy 40 acres of private land near the Wounded Knee Massacre site.

The land is held by a non-native owner who is asking nearly $4-million for the property.   Those backing the plan to buy the land say it needs to be held by the Lakota people and used in a positive way.

Newspaper publisher Tim Giago says he wants to see a museum and arts and trade center built on the property once it’s acquired.

Bill Keeps Geographic Name Board, But Limits Scope

Jan 24, 2016

Lawmakers are considering a bill that removes some power from the State Board of Geographic Names.  

The board was formed in order to change racist or offensive names of South Dakota landmarks.  In 2014 the board was instructed to remove all references to the word “squaw” which is seen as both derogatory and racist.

But when the board began looking at a possible name change for Harney Peak – some lawmakers say it went too far.

University of Sioux Falls

University of Sioux Falls professor Kevin Cole leads the interim course "American Slave Narratives."  There are few courses like it in the nation.  Content focuses on American slave narratives written and published between the 18th and early 20th centuries.  Cole visited with Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to detail the course.

First Nations Sculpture Garden Moves Toward Goal

Jan 1, 2016
First Nations Sculpture Garden

A new installment in a downtown Rapid City park aims to recognize the history of Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people in this region and highlight contributions of 20th century Native Americans.

 The First Nations Sculpture Garden has broken ground in Halley Park in the center of Rapid City and organizers are now working toward their fundraising goal in order to finish the project.

Rapid City’s Past Housed In New Historical Collections Room

Dec 1, 2015

From the lives of the Lakota who called the Black Hills home for generations, to the founding of Hay Camp, to the Black Hills Flood, the history of Rapid City is rich and deep--and now history buffs can find it all in one place.

Professor Kurt Hackemer, Chair, History, Philosophy & Native Studies at the University of South Dakota.  Professor Hackemer present this month's Humanities Research Forum, “Wartime Trauma and the Lure of the Frontier: Civil War Veterans in Dakota Territory."  Hackemer’s presentation is Tuesday, November 17 at 4:00 p.m. (refreshments at 3:30 p.m.) in the Al Neuharth Media Center Conference Room.

Former US Senator Larry Pressler discusses the award winning film "American Hustle" and how the ABSCAM scandal was portrayed in the film.  Pressler was the only one not to take a bribe in the sting operation that snared seven members of Congress and many other political figures in the late 1970's.  Pressler also discusses the accuracy of war films and what effects they have on the general perception of those wars.  


In 2014 the South Dakota State Historical Society received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize historical newspapers.  The project is part of Chronicling America, a Library of Congress initiative to develop an online database of select historical newspapers from around the United States.  As part of the grant the State Historical Society/Archives will digitize around 100 rolls of microfilmed newspapers pre-dating 1922.  Some of them are available now and text searchable.  Chelle Somsen, State Archivist with the South Dakota State Historical Society, t

Dakota Midday: NOVA's "Arctic Ghost Ship"

Sep 23, 2015

"Arctic Ghost Ship" premieres Wednesday on NOVA (8:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m.

Ron Corum

The University of Louisville Kentucky is sharing a collection of Lakota songs, stories, and photos with the Oglala Lakota College on Pine Ridge Reservation. 40 years ago a Louisville research student visited the reservation. He became close friends with a tribe leader who allowed him to document previously unrecorded traditions. 


Nestled into a cornfield in northeast South Dakota, the Granary Rural Cultural Center is a place to celebrate the beauty of both art and nature. Here’s a look at what visitors will find when they take a trip to this arts oasis the middle of the countryside.

Photo by Jim Kent

Over the 240 years since American colonists first took up arms against the British Empire on Lexington Green, the branches of the military and their various uniforms have played an important role in our country’s history. SDPB’s Jim Kent recently visited a military uniform display at the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer to explore that history and the changes in how our servicemen – and women – dress…both on the front lines and off.

Thomas Pitz

All across the nation on Saturday, people will celebrate Independence Day with parades, band concerts and fireworks. It was on July 4, 1776 that the 13 American colonies declared that they were no longer a part of the British Empire, but instead a new country.

The principal author of the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Jefferson, who also served as the nation’s third president from 1801 and 1809. One of his major accomplishments in office was the Louisiana Purchase, a huge swath of territory including the future South Dakota.

Persistence Cave: Windy And Full Of Fossils

Jun 12, 2015

Wind Cave National Park is now home to more than one significant cave.

Persistence Cave discovered at the park in 2004 and kept secret for over a decade is now being explored for the first time.

An initial sample shows the soil near the cave’s entrance contains a trove of fossils, including at least 22 different species of animals dating back at least 11,000 years.   Paleontologists from various institutions including the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs have joined in the study.

During this weekend’s annual history conference of the State Historical Society in Pierre, Jean Kessloff will receive a Governor’s Award for History. She’s being recognized for her work in historic preservation in Rapid City. Kessloff is president of Historic Rapid City and has been a member of the Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission since 2003.

Deadwood History Part Of Blue Star Museums

May 23, 2015
Courtesy NEA

Museums across the country will offer free admission to active duty U.S. military personnel and their families beginning on Memorial Day. The nationwide program is part of an effort to provide military families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after relocating to a new duty station.Deadwood History, Inc. is among the 2,000 sites across the country involved in the launch of “Blue Star Museums”.

President Obama Speaks In Watertown

May 8, 2015

President Barack Obama encourages South Dakotans to focus on service opportunities. Mister Obama spoke Friday at Lake Area Tech's commencement. The president highlighted personal stories of LATI workers and graduates including Staff Sergeant Joe Wiskur. The airman deploys shortly after graduation, and Mr. Obama says his education makes him a better soldier.

In his book, South Dakota's Challenges Since 1960, Charles Rogers explores nearly a half-century of South Dakota’s most recent history. Rogers taught American history at Scotland High School, Washington High School and Kilian Community College in Sioux Falls. His book focuses on energy development, population, well-known South Dakotans, and the state’s economic ups and downs. He’s giving a presentation about the book on Tuesday, February 3 at the History Club of Sioux Falls.

"Push Someone"

Dec 8, 2014

Sioux Falls aviation artist and historian John Mollison visited about the latest project from Old Guys and their Planes, "Push Somone," the incredible story of F-4 Phantom pilots Bob Pardo and Steve Wayne.  Mollison also discussed his work as it pertains to preserving aviation history through art and the audio/visual projects on which he works with Rick Lingberg of Sioux Falls.

During World War II, Sioux Falls was home to the Army Air Forces Technical School. From 1942 through 1945, some 45 thousand men and women trained there and brought new wealth to the community, changed social attitudes, stimulated construction and created the city’s first modern airport.

Courtesy Badlands National Park - Rikk Flohr

As South Dakota marks 125 years of statehood, SDPB is featuring stories that rediscover our identity and heritage through the people, places, and ideas that make this state unique. Although there are many arid areas across the country that bear the name, there’s only one “Badlands” National Park – and it’s located in South Dakota. We visited this former site of an ancient sea to learn more about the area the Lakota have called “Bad Land” for centuries.

The growth of modern photography coincided with the settlement of the American frontier. Historical photographs provide a fascinating and sometimes haunting view of the Old West.

A plaque commemorating President Calvin Coolidge's use of the old Rapid City High School as his executive office has been dedicated by Historic Rapid City. The plaque features photos of Coolidge and his wife, Grace, arriving in Rapid City by train and Coolidge on the steps of the school, which has since been torn down. It was from those steps that Coolidge announced that he chose not to run for re-election.

Lincoln's Bishop

Jul 2, 2014

In August and September of 1862, violence erupted in southwest Minnesota in what is often referred to as the U.S-Dakota War. The deadly attacks by the Dakotas against white settlers exploded out of frustration and anger over starvation and broken promises. In the aftermath of the conflict an Army court sentenced 303 Dakota men to death, 38 of whom were executed.