On Thursday [1/12/2012] South Dakotans were brought out of their daily routines by the news that a political titan had died. The titans, Gods who ruled in Greek mythology before the overtaking of the Olympians lead by Zeus, have been portrayed as "good" and "bad" throughout history, much like former South Dakotan Governor William J. Janklow was and will continue to be. They were giants of their time that inspired fear and demanded respect and, even after their passing to a new generation of rulers, their memory lived on impacting the way those new rulers and people viewed the order of the world. And, whether or not you agreed with Bill Janklow, there is no denying that the impact left by his sixteen years as governor, the very public errors he made, and the sometimes controversial policies he enacted will continue to guide South Dakota politics and politicians for years to come.
So, today, a mere 24 hours after the news of his death, we look into the South Dakota Oral History Center archives to listen to the past and its connection to Bill Janklow: governor, friend, enemy, family-man, bully, political activist, South Dakota Titan.
The above clip is from a "special edition of Action News." Between Bill Janklow, in his first term as South Dakota Governor, and South Dakota Senator George McGovern.
New to our blog, Songs From the Oral History Center kicks off with a wonderful rendition of "Phantom Buffalo." Sung by Rose Mae LaPointe from Rosebud, South Dakota, we invite you to take the time to listen and let her voice harken you back to the time of technicolor and campfire melodies.
This song originally aired on the radio, if you have more information about its content, original airing, or the people involved in giving us this great recording, please contact the South Dakota Oral History Center at email@example.com.
Present day South Dakota is filled with different holiday traditions, folklore, and celebration. And, as we are now looking forward to a new year, it seems appropriate to look back at a couple oral histories of celebration, folklore, and tradition from yesteryear.
The first recording is AIRP 0190, it is a segment from the interview conducted by Cynthia Kelsey of Mrs. Josephine Robinson in Naytahwaush, Minnesota. In this short clip, you will hear Mrs. Robinson talk about her remembrances of how New Year's Eve was celebrated when she was younger.
The second interview [SDOHP 0258] segment comes to us from Mrs. Mary Rasmussen who was interviewed by Earl Hausle April of 1972 at the age of 82. Mrs. Rasmussen is originally from Ireland and in this clip she talks about the tradition of the Christmas Tree in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota.
If you wish to read the trascripts for these recordings or listen to the full recording, please contact the South Dakota Oral History Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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