Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - High (X) - Prairie Public (X) - U.S. History (X)

Prairie Places | Early Autos

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Learn about the history of early automobile manufacturers in North Dakota and the men who built them. The vehicles in early days were built by individuals between 1899 and 1910.

Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota | Jay Cooke State Park

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Learn how Civilian Conservation Corps built the Swinging Bridge in Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota.

Red River Land | History of Travel | Getting to the Homestead

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Homesteaders could take a train part of the way to homestead in the Red River Valley, but after they got off the train, they had to find a way to get to unclaimed land.  These settlers used a variety of methods of transportation from walking to bicycles to wagons to steamboats, and, finally, on their farms, steam-powered tractors.

Fort Buford: Splendid Isolation | Part 1

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Isolated in the Midwestern prairie in Dakota Territory, Fort Buford served as a supply and trading post for the U.S. Army at the confluence of two major upper plains rivers. Rivers were a primary means of transportation at the time, enabling Fort Buford to serve as a supply post during the Great Sioux War.

Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota | Gooseberry Fall State Park

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Learn about partnership of local experienced men and Civilian Conservation Corps boys at Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Glenda Baker Embry (City Drivers)

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Glenda Baker Embry can tell that not everyone in Parshall, North Dakota, is originally from North Dakota because they look different and they speak differently. She also comments that small-town North Dakota drivers are getting hand gestures other than the neighborly waves they once got.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Julie Wisness

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Hear Julie Wisness, a rancher from Keene, North Dakota, explain that she and her husband decided to stay in this area because it is their home, but recognize that others in the area have complaints and have decided to leave due to all the changes. “Oil is great; if you have it, it’s wonderful.”

Red River Land | History of Travel | The Skies

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In the early days of the airplane people put on shows to display their flying talent.  Some notable performing aviators, male and female, were known as barnstormers and were from the Red River Valley.  Today modern jet aircraft transport people and freight all over Red River Land.

Old Red Trail | Red Trail Beginning

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The Old Red Trail was a national effort put forth primarily by the AAA., and was laid out in 1914 from Fargo to Medora. Early directions were complicated and relied on local landmarks more than any official signage. Still, the Old Red Trail was the first major thoroughfare through the state and many people used it to travel more easily, independently, and farther than they had gone before.

Old Red Trail | Early Red Trail Travel

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In 1923, state highways were designated by number and the Old Red Trail became State Highway 3, then was named Highway 10 after becoming part of the national highway system in 1927 from Ludington, Michigan, to Seattle.  It remained a gravel road until the 1950s, and in early years, travel was hampered by road and weather conditions and poor signage.

Old Red Trail | Birth of the Interstate

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Crossing the United States before the federal highway system was in place was very difficult.  Future President Dwight Eisenhower traveled in a military expedition from Maryland to California in 1919 and took that experience with him to the White House.  He signed the Federal Highway Act in 1956, which resulted in the opening of the first part of Interstate 94 in October of 1958 between Valley City and Jamestown.  The video clip also includes discussion of how the interstate highway project was funded, its value in national defense, and secondary road improvement projects.

Old Red Trail | How Red Trail Came to Be

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Known by many names, the Old Red Trail was first devised in 1913 as the northern transcontinental route from New York to Seattle.  North Dakotans embraced the automobile as it became more reliable, using it to go where the railroad did not for business and pleasure. 

Old Red Trail | Construction Changes

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Early road construction was time-consuming and expensive.  In 1959, road crews could lay out one mile of road a day at best. With today’s technology and equipment, paving and grading roads is much easier and faster.  Construction of bridges required specialists who could design the river-spanning lengths.  In the 1960s, road construction cost $400,000 per mile of four-lane highway, including the cost of land, equipment, workers’ pay, bridges, and materials.  Today, roads cost more than four times that for two lanes in one direction, but they last 50% longer

Old Red Trail | Resisting the Interstate

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The modern interstate system was not universally welcomed in North Dakota.  Plans for Interstate 94 included dividing some farms, bypassing towns, restricting water drainage, and limited access.  Interviews with North Dakotans in this clip include reminiscences about the early days of the interstate, such as one person who recalled when someone tampered with construction by pulling out stakes and piling them neatly next to the future road’s path.  Even teaching North Dakotans how to use the interchanges and on- and off-ramps was a challenge after the Old Red Trail became the state’s first interstate highway.

Indian Pride, Health: Part 2

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 Dr. Charles Grim, Director of Indian Health Services in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, discusses the history of the Indian Health Services department and American Indian health care, including traditional practices, diabetes, and tele-medicine.

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