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South Dakota History

South Dakota History, volume 52 number 2

Price: $10.00

South Dakota History, volume 52 number 2


The legendary African American filmmaker and author Oscar Micheaux, the military career of George McGovern, and Rev. Edward Ashley’s campaign to ban peyote use in the state are highlighted in the latest issue of “South Dakota History,” the quarterly journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

 Sara Gallagher’s article “Oscar Micheaux and the South Dakota Frontier in Print and Cinema” examines the career of a film director who drew inspiration from his time as a homesteader in Gregory, South Dakota, in the early twentieth century. Micheaux’s artistic endeavors highlighted the possibilities the western frontier held for African Americans while also underscoring the unique challenges they faced in the region. Gallagher is a researcher and lecturer for the English department at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

“The McGovern War Years: Reporting by Daryl ‘Bud’ Lembke, 1972–1973” unearths an unpublished piece written by a reporter who researched then-South Dakota senator George McGovern’s World War II career during his 1972 presidential run. Laurie Langland, who serves as the archivist for Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU), provides an introduction to a manuscript that Los Angeles Times reporter Daryl Lembke submitted to the Atlantic Monthly about his experience reporting on McGovern’s service record. Lembke donated the manuscript and his related correspondence to the DWU archives in 2012.

 In “Reverend Edward Ashley’s 1923 Campaign to Ban Peyote in South Dakota,” Richmond L. Clow describes how a prominent Episcopalian missionary fought to end the ceremonial smoking of peyote in Native American Church ceremonies across the state. Edward Ashley, who previously championed the free exercise of religion among American Indians in South Dakota, believed that peyote use had negative social consequences and feared that the practice reflected a surge in fundamentalist sentiment on the reservations. Clow is professor emeritus of Native American studies at the University of Montana in Missoula.