Plains Folk

Plains Folk, a commentary devoted to life on the great plains of North America, is now a special weekly feature on Main Street. Written by Tom Isern of West Fargo, North Dakota, and read in newspapers across the region for years, Plains Folk venerates fall suppers and barn dances and reminds us that “more important to our thoughts than lines on a map are the essential characteristics of the region–the things that tell what the plains are, not just where they are.” You can hear Plains Folk once a week during Main Street, weekdays at 3 pm CT with a repeat at 7 pm CT.

To read more Plains Folk commentaries, click on the “archives” link.

Recent Shows

  • Across North Dakota by Ford Auto in 1923

    A week or so ago I talked about land. Specifically, the land granted to North Dakota by the United States government, under the Morrill Act, for support of North Dakota Agricultural College, now North Dakota State University. As I intimated, this is a complicated story. It is tied up with all the other lands granted […]

  • Reading the Rings

    Joe Zelenick, extension forester for North Dakota State University, is wonderfully enthusiastic about his work. I spent some time with him the other day as he worked with one of our History graduate students, Robert Foresman, in an attempt to identify certain hundred-year-old elm trees planted on campus as memorials to soldiers killed in the […]

  • Putting the “Land” into “Land Grant”

    In 1862 the Congress of the United States famously enacted a great experiment in aspirational democracy, the Morrill Land Grant College Act. The Morrill Act opened things up in two ways—it enabled the sons and daughters of farmers and laborers to go to college, and it made it possible for them to study pretty much […]

  • Jewish Homesteaders in McIntosh County

    A year ago the Ashley Jewish Homesteaders Cemetery, a historic site two miles north of Ashley, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Last week the Ashley Arts Council recognized this distinction by organizing a Jewish Heritage Celebration in the McIntosh County Courthouse. The woman principally responsible for getting the property on the […]

  • Praying for Peace

    Never let a good centennial go to waste, I always say – speaking as a student of history and memory – particularly collective memory, the stories we hold in common and build community upon. We are in the middle of a big centennial, that of the Great War – what in later generations came to […]

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