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Come! We must find the pin head!

A Mind Reader, A Pin Head, and a Fool; The Story of "Professor" Johnstone's Visit to Wind Cave [previously].
When they [the search party] arrived in that portion of the cave two members of the party were insensible. I was raving and Moore was the only man in his right mind. He had me down on the floor of the cave, my throat clutched with his hand while in the other hand he held a Colt revolver. We had had nothing to eat for five (sic) days and four nights. McDonald dies soon after that, one of the party was adjudged insane and taken to the asylum. I was almost blind and it was necessary to have an operation performed on my eyes.

posted by unliteral on Mar 10, 2013 - 8 comments

The Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History

150 years ago, on December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hung in Mankato, Minnesota. It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The men were hung after being convicted by a U.S. military commission for participating in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Originally, 303 were sentenced to death, but President Lincoln commuted the sentences of most of those convicted. The war was waged in the Minnesota River Valley. The Minnesota Historical Society's page on the hangings is here. The Minneapolis Star Tribune's six-part series on the war is here. Minnesota Public Radio has an online photographic display on the war. This American Life's episode on the war is available through the program's website. Indian Country Today reports on efforts in Minnesota to remember the war, including a memorial dedicated in Mankato today. Following the war, most Dakota were expelled from Minnesota.
posted by Area Man on Dec 26, 2012 - 31 comments

"When the lights go out for good, my people will still be here. We have our ancient ways. We will remain."

In the Shadow of Wounded Knee. Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 25, 2012 - 32 comments

Medicine Wheel / Wagon Wheel

In 2005, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks produced a 6 episode miniseries that spanned the period of expansion of the United States into the American West, from 1825 to 1890. Through fictional and historical characters, the series used two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel -- to join the story of two families: one Native American, one White settlers, as they witnessed many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones. The award-winning Into The West can now be seen in its entirety on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 20, 2012 - 12 comments

Corn, Lightning, Aurora, Ice and Stars

The ever-lower cost of motion control technology is allowing amateurs to create increasingly spectacular films of timelapse astrophotography: the latest work from Randy Halverson, Eric Hines and Ágúst Ingvarsson. (Full-screen viewing is highly recommended). [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 15, 2011 - 24 comments

Swimming Under A River Of Stars

An awe-inspiring time-lapse sequence of the Milky Way rising and falling above the plains of South Dakota. (Place Vimeo in full-screen mode before you play. You’ll thank me later. Much more, including technical info, at the photographer’s website.)

The Very Large Telescope Array in Chile, previously mentioned, is also the subject of a new film that documents the most remarkable contrast between science and politics, wonderment and hate. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jun 3, 2011 - 32 comments

Photos of the West, 1880-1890

Between 1887 and 1892, John C.H. Grabill sent 188 photographs to the Library of Congress for copyright protection. Grabill is known as a western photographer, documenting many aspects of frontier life – hunting, mining, western town landscapes and white settlers’ relationships with Native Americans.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 6, 2011 - 30 comments

"To expand the definition of justifiable homicide"

Despite the recent outrage over Congressional attempts to "redefine rape" for the purpose of abortion funding, South Dakota's legislature has stepped the controversy up even further: a party-line panel has sent to the floor for a full vote HB 1171 - "An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children." Mother Jones considers the legal potential: "This could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Feb 15, 2011 - 279 comments

Great, plain, still emptying

Faded Dreams, Emptied in Emmons County and Memories in McIntosh County. Three flickr photo sets of (mostly) abandoned, crumbling farms, businesses and homes in rural North Dakota. [previously] [via]
posted by dersins on Apr 6, 2009 - 20 comments

Sitation Normal: All Fucked Up

Back in July 1994, a patrol of French blue helmets discovered, to their utter bemusement, a derelict Douglas C-47 "Dakota" in the midst of MiG carcasses in the Rajlovac airfield in Bosnia. They were intrigued enough to write down its serial number: Serial Nr. 43/15073 turned out to be a veteran of Normandy, Provence, Market Garden, the Bulge, and the Rhine. Now SNAFU Special is back in Normandy, where it is being restored to become a centerpiece of the Merville Battery Museum. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Feb 1, 2008 - 8 comments

Great, plain, empty.

"The Emptied Prairie," a National Geographic article on North Dakota's ghost towns and the decline of the Great Plains. Typically amazing National Geographic photos here. Reminds me of a similar series that ran in the New York Times several years ago, which included this fascinating article by Timothy Egan.
posted by dersins on Jan 17, 2008 - 42 comments

Dakota, the Last Dinosaur

Scientists find a 'mummified' Hadrosaur in North Dakota "He looks like a blow-up dinosaur in some parts," said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in England who is leading the inquiry. "When you actually look at the detail of the skin, the scales themselves are three dimensional. . . . The arm is breathtaking. It's a three-dimensional arm, you can shake the dinosaur by the hand. It just defies logic that such a remarkable specimen could preserve." [more inside]
posted by Uther Bentrazor on Dec 3, 2007 - 52 comments

Zap, Crackle, and Riot

Before 1969, the city of Zap was best known as the punch line of a joke about three towns in North Dakota that sounded like Rice Krispies—Zap, Gackle, and Mott. But when student body president Charles "Chuck" Stroup at North Dakota State University needed an alternative to Fort Lauderdale while stuck in North Dakota for spring break, he enlisted the help of some student journalists at the Spectrum newspaper to promote the "Zip to Zap," an event that became the only "official" riot in the history of North Dakota. The tiny coal mining town originally looked forward to the impromptu "Zip" festival, which had so much advance buzz that the Wham-O toy company created a toy called Zip Zap in honor of the imminent event. Unfortunately, after throngs of students descended on Zap, the only two bars in town quickly ran out of beer, and the North Dakota National Guard was called into extinguish the bonfire, beer brawls, and riot that ensued. For more info about about how the "Zip to Zap" fit in context with the 1960s zeitgeist, look here, here, and here.
posted by jonp72 on Nov 20, 2007 - 10 comments

Well you ain't never caugh a rabbit, and you ain't no friend of mine!

"For me, it's a great victory to have a big red box, the first red box in any studio feature." Move over, Todd Solondz, the previously Untitled Dakota Fanning Rape Project is headed for Sundance. This film is not yet rated.
posted by phaedon on Jan 24, 2007 - 68 comments

Custer Died for Your Sins

One hundred and thirty years ago today, George Armstrong Custer divided his forces in the face of a superior enemy and rode to his death at the Little Big Horn. The actual battle lasted about 15 minutes, but the fight over Custer's legacy is going into its second century. Visit the battle memorial (webcam view) explore the archeology of the site, or read an Indian account of the battle. The battle has attracted artists as varied as Charlie Russell (this poster of his painting was distributed by Anheiser Busch and hung in bars across the United States), Thomas Hart Benton, and Kicking Bear (Mato Wanartaka). Little Big Horn is a lonely place today.
posted by LarryC on Jun 25, 2006 - 33 comments

Young-hae Chang flash pieces

Beckett's Bounce and Riviera in English, and another version in Chinese.
The latest from Young Hae Chang.
posted by hama7 on Dec 28, 2002 - 12 comments

North Dakota considering name change

North Dakota considering name change to get rid of lowly "North" tag and switch to plain "Dakota." The people making those commemorative state quarters are giving them stern looks...
posted by Sellersburg/Speed on Jun 26, 2001 - 55 comments

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