The Largest Oral History Project in the U.S. is Telling North Dakota’s Story

Think about all you’ve done and seen in your lifetime. As we live and breathe, we’re all a part of history in the making.

Renée Cooper has the story, of those telling theirs, to the largest oral history project in the Country.

David Sprynczynatyk is an North Dakota National Guard veteran of 44 years.

His great grandmother knew he was going to be a soldier when he was two years old.

Sprynczynatyk says, “We talked about the major floods that have occurred in the state that I’ve been a part of in terms of response. We talked about some of the simple things, like my basic training back in 1972 and what that was like.”

Sprynczynatyk took a seat in the booth with his daughter Cathryn.

She adds, “I lived through most of that and I witnessed a lot of it firsthand, but to actually ask him questions about specific incidents or stories and then have that recorded. We get a copy and the Library of Congress also gets one, and that’s something really special.”

Kevin Locke traveled from Fort Yates to talk share a local tradition: hoop dancing.

Locke explains, “What it really does is capture the nobility of the human spirit, and so then it has validity everywhere, because it’s time tested through generations.”

The Storycorps team has been traveling around the country since 2005. Americans of all different backgrounds and beliefs are invited onto this bus to tell their story.”

Storycorps Mobile Tour Site Manager Jacqueline Van Meter says, “What guides our work is this idea of preserving and sharing the stories of humanity, so we can build more connections between people. And hopefully, create a more just and compassionate world.” 

Van Meter says Storycorps is striving to create a listening culture, where we tell the important stories that could otherwise go untold.

The Mobile Tour Manager told us that Storycorps is not only interested in the news-worthy events and experiences, the opportunity is open to anyone willing to talk about what life is like in North Dakota. 

Reserve your spot using the link below:

https://storycorps.org/stops/mobile-stop-bismarck-nd/.

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