Dakota Datebook

Summer in Winter

Sunday, December 19, 2004

In 1913, North Dakota experienced a strange December, weather-wise. On this date, it was reported that the record for the Missouri River freezing over had been broken (as far as recent written history went). The latest date previously recorded for freeze-over was December 10th, 1899. Now, here on the 19th, the river was still running free with almost no ice.

Just three days earlier, pussy willows had started budding and blooming in Cando, and a Joseph Hoover said he saw a flock of geese flying over the prairie. On December 22nd, an article from Crystal said, “George Shepard brings proof…that it is real summer in North Dakota.” One of his hens set “under an old binder and came off the nest today proudly clucking to five little chicks she just hatched.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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