State history conference looks at lessons of ‘Y2K’

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — How history and technology intersect is the focus later this week at the 2024 conference of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The event runs Friday and Saturday morning at the Ramkota River Centre in Pierre. The theme is “Embracing the New Millennium: 25 Years Since Y2K.”

For those too young to remember, there was worldwide uncertainty in 1999 about what computer programs might do when the clock reached midnight and the first day of 2000 arrived. State government took many steps to prepare.

Leading that internal effort was Pat Snow, who’s now chief technology officer for state government’s Bureau of Information and Telecommunications. Snow, a past president of the National Association of State Technology Directors, will speak at 4 p.m. Friday. His presentation is titled “From Y2K to Tomorrow: Lessons and Legacies in Digital Computing.”

“This talk,’ explained BIT spokesman Dan Hoblick, “is designed to take the audience on a journey through the historical development of digital computing, pinpointing the origins of the Y2K problem and tracing how early decisions in technology design and data storage led to widespread concern as the year 2000 approached.”

He continued, “Pat will delve into the efforts that were ramped up globally and specifically within the (state government) of South Dakota to address the Y2K problem, highlighting our proactive measures, the challenges we faced, and the innovative solutions we implemented to ensure a seamless transition into the new millennium.”

The Friday luncheon will feature an update on work at the state Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center, which serves as home to the society, state archives and museum collection, is closed for the renovation and expansion.

The keynote speaker at the Saturday lunch is public historian Jason Steinhauer, author of “History, Disrupted: How Social Media and the World Wide Web Have Changed the Past.” The society’s annual awards will be presented afterward.

JoAnne Bohl of Hartford will be honored as the South Dakota history teacher of the year, Istvan Gombocz of Vermillion will receive the Herbert S. Schell Award, and Rose Spiers of Deadwood will receive a special governor’s award for historical preservation, according to Kevin Larson, communications director for the South Dakota State Historical Society.

He said the CCC Museum of Hill City and the Ag Heritage Museum of Brookings will also be honored.

Prices to attend the two-day event are $140 for society members and $190 for non-members. Prices for a single day are $80 and $90. Student prices are $65 for both days and $40 for one. More information about the conference and the South Dakota State Historical Society is available here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *