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Regional history conference begins Sept. 30 in Bismarck

Published: Sep 17 2015

Bismarck welcomes the 50th annual Northern Plains History Conference Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 for the fifth time since the conference began in 1966.

Bismarck State College and the State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND) host this year's conference headquartered at the Radisson Inn, downtown Bismarck.

Participants will engage in 46 sessions with 163 presenters and panelists from across the country and Canada on such topics as civil rights, women suffrage in North Dakota, military history, ancient rites and practices, American Indian strategies for change, the politics of exploration and much more.

Conference registration is due Sept. 25 and can be paid at

J. Michael McCormack, professor of history at BSC, has organized the conference, and BSC history professor Perry Hornbacher serves on the conference's governing council.

"To my knowledge, Bismarck State College is the only two-year college that sponsors or co-sponsors a major regional history conference," McCormack said. "Many papers presented here have become articles in significant historical journals or seeds for published regional histories. Perhaps most of all, the conference has given young historians a chance to present their work before peers of their profession."

Field trips are scheduled Saturday, Oct. 3, to Fort Clark State Historic Site and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site with transportation provided. Trip leader is Eric Holland, SHSND curator of education. He was a former site supervisor at Fort Clark and an interpretive ranger at Knife River.

Activities include an evening reception Sept. 30 at the Former Governor's Mansion State Historic Site at 320 E. Ave. B, and evening reception Oct. 1 at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

The conference banquet on Oct. 2 is at BSC's National Energy Center of Excellence on campus with a reception hosted by BSC President Larry C. Skogen and the BSC Foundation. That reservation is due Sept. 23.

Banquet speaker is Paul Beck, author of many books on interactions between Native Americans and the military during the 1860s. His latest work is "Columns of Vengeance: Soldiers, Sioux, and the Punitive Expeditions, 1863-1964." Beck is professor of history at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee.

During the banquet, Gordon L. Iseminger of the University of North Dakota History Department will receive the Larry Rowan Remele Award from the Northern Great Plains History Conference Council for his outstanding work for the conference.

Participants who sign up can earn one continuing education credit for the course, "Northern Great Plains History," through University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University or Minot State University.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.