Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Computer Science (X) - High (X) - Prairie Public (X)

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | The Decline of Railroads and Streetcars

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Discover how the building and use of railroads declined due to the popularity of automobiles and trucks. One effect was the development of regional and short line railroads that served smaller communities. Several larger cities used local electric streetcars until the automobiles took over.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | In Mid-continent and “The Holy Dog”

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Discover how transportation has affected every step of North Dakota history. North Dakota’s position in the center of North America has always made transportation a challenge with even the earliest peoples seeking ways to cover large distances of land. The arrival of horses to the Northern Plains had a radical effect on the Native American culture and way of life.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Roads from WWII to the Present

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Learn how World War II meant funding was diverted to all but strategic roads and highways. After the war, the state had to play catch-up on road maintenance, helped by federal funding of the interstate system. In today's world, larger and heavier trucks are critical to transporting freight. In rural North Dakota, providing local transit for a growing senior citizen population is a big issue.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Water Communication

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Learn how rivers already provided an avenue for the movement of goods and people in 1803 when Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri River to look for a waterway to the West.

The History of the Bobcat

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Learn about how the Keller brothers from Minnesota invented the first Bobcat loader, and built it using scrap metal.

Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, Rollag MN

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Since 1954, giant iron machines have been roaring back to life each Labor Day weekend in Rollag, Minnesota. The Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion attracts thousands of visitors each year with its 210 acres of exhibits and demonstrations. Almost nothing is static, as workers have meticulously restored and revived vintage equipment. Enjoy a glimpse of the sights and sounds of Rollag.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Individual Freedom

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Learn about the history of automobiles in North Dakota. The automobile age gave freedom of movement and choice for passengers and freight. With more people driving cars, the push came for better roads.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | “A Reluctant and Homesick Pig”

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Learn about the history of steamboats on the Red River. Although its course meandered like a lost and homesick pig, the Red River of the North was a major artery for steamboats, which coordinated with stagecoaches from St. Paul to Fort Abercrombie.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Peerless Transportation

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Learn about the role of railroads in North Dakota history. In their time, railroads had no peer in their ability to move people and goods, although shipping costs were high. The railroad companies helped increase immigration to North Dakota by actively marketing the opportunities here to foreigners, especially Scandinavians and Germans from Russia.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Red River Oxcarts

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Learn about the Red River oxcarts that were the primary means of transporting goods from the Red River Valley to St. Paul.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Road Improvement

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Learn how by the 1910s, state government began making an effort to improve roads by financially aiding counties, and the federal government began assisting with funding. The economic hardships of the 1930s meant less funds, but the state authorized the state patrol and began issuing drivers' licenses.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Carol Goodbear (Exploitation)

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Carol Goodbear, the legislative director for the Three Affiliated Tribes, recognizes that the exploitation of oil is profitable, but at what cost?

Faces of the Oil Patch | Howard Klug (Future)

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Learn about Howard Klug, a Williston city commissioner and local business owner, who understands that some people think that people in the oil patch should have known the boom was coming, but he disagrees. The magnitude was unexpected, and he predicts that there will be more wells in the future. This boom won’t be over for quite awhile.

Red River Land | History of Travel | The Automobile

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At first people in the Red River Valley thought that automobiles were a nuisance that scared horses, but as automobiles became cheaper people began to trade in their carts and carriages for cars.  The gasoline engine resulted in big changes, and automobiles began realizing their full potential when a suitable network of roads was built in North Dakota. Electric streetcars and motorized busses provided city transit.

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