Then and Now: History Edition
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Then and Now: History Edition



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PAGE 2B: THEN & NOW PRESS & DAKOTAN n MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 PHOTO: DAKOTA TERRITORIAL MUSEUM Introduction Who We Were And Who We Are BY KELLY HERTZ T kelly.hertz@yankton.net he past is never too far removed from the present. Indeed, the past is part of who we are: It s the beginning of every modern tale, whether it s the story of a town, a business, a street, an industry, a park, an idea, a recreation, a theater and so on. That s the motivating spirit behind this special edition, which we here have come to refer to as Then & Now. The concept seemed simple: Take something that is part of our life today and examine how it has changed through the years, decades or even centuries. The execution was a bit tougher than that, however. The project is very broad, and each idea could fly in myriad directions. In an effort to give it some focus, we ultimately settled on the following topics: Yankton s Downtown District & Business; Sports, Recreation & Entertainment; Education & Medicine; and Agriculture & Industry. (As you can see with the ampersands, even this effort to narrow the focus was difficult to do.) Thereafter, we DAVE TUNGE/DAKOTA AERIAL TOP: Looking west, a photo of downtown Yankton, taken many decades ago when brewing was still a staple of local business. Third St. is on the right, with a brewery smoke stack looming in the center. ABOVE: A modern-day shot of Yankton, provided by Dave Tunge of Dakota Aerial. chose several general topics upon which to concentrate. Why Then & Now ? Because, as we said, the past is always part of who we are, even if it involved the most advanced of technologies. The Press & Dakotan itself can attest to this. We are literally one of Yankton s oldest businesses, having been founded in 1861 just a few months after the formation of Dakota Territory and the naming of the small settlement of Yankton as the first territorial capital. The newspaper was a weekly product, and the first issue, printed down the river in Sioux City, Iowa, arrived three days late. Nevertheless, the paper provided a source of news on a frontier that had few connections to points east. By 1875, gold had been dis- covered in the Black Hills and a flood of hopeful prospectors were moving west through Yankton to perhaps stake a claim to destiny. In response, this weekly newspaper became a daily in order to keep the great transient population up to speed on the events of the world. The newspaper changed with the times and with tastes through the 19th and 20th centuries. Strictly an afternoon publication for decades, the paper converted its Saturday editions to the mornings in 1984, then shifted completely from the afternoons to the mornings in 1993. In 1997, we were one of the first papers in the state to create an online presence, which has grown ever since. Now, the Press & Dakotan is a much different animal today than it was in 1861, and yet its mission remains the same. Understanding history helps us to understand that, even with this edition. This Then & Now project has taken considerable planning. Helping us out in this endeavor tremendously was the crew at the Dakota Territorial Museum. They re currently in the process of preparing for a move to what will be known as the Mead Cultural Center. As such, they came up with hundreds of vintage photos for our use in this edition. For that, we are eternally grateful. We hope you enjoy this section, which may help develop a greater appreciation for history that many people too often take for granted. It also carries the lesson that, as surely as the past helped shape the present, the cutting-edge developments and practices of today will no doubt write the story of what is to come.
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Who We Were and Who We Are