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  • Ann Sothern

    Actress Ann Sothern was born on this date in 1909, in Valley City, North Dakota. Born Harriette Lake, she moved with her family to Minneapolis while still young. At 18, she moved to New York and began work as a film extra. She also worked on Broadway, singing leads in America’s Sweetheart and Everybody’s Welcome. […]

  • State Flag

    One hundred years ago on this date, Colonel John H. Fraine introduced a resolution to the North Dakota Legislative Assembly proposing the creation and adoption of a North Dakota state flag, modeled on the flag carried by the North Dakota Infantry in the Spanish American War. The legislature approved the measure on March 3rd. Forty […]

  • Olger Burton Burtness

    Olger Burton Burtness, a North Dakota legislator and District Court Judge, passed away on this date in 1960. Burtness left a legacy of both theatre and law at his alma mater and across the state. Born in 1884 in Grand Forks County of Norwegian immigrants, Burtness never strayed far from his family farm near Mekinock. […]

  • Y94’s Job Offer

    Two NDSU students created a new Facebook group on this date a year ago. The group came about as the result of Conan O’Brien’s monologue the night before, in which he mentioned a job offer from Fargo, North Dakota. The animosity between O’Brien and NBC, his long-time employer, began months earlier. Jay Leno, Tonight Show […]

  • Pennies from Heaven

    On this date in 1947, at 3:00 in the afternoon, residents of Valley City emerged from their homes to find something unusual—pamphlet advertisements raining down from above, the roar of an airplane motor, and, for fifteen lucky souls, a check worth five dollars. This scene was set by Ken Coghlan, Valley City businessman. He came […]

  • The Bismarck Auditorium

    The Bismarck Auditorium, today known as the Belle Mehus, has been around since the early part of the 20th Century when it was built by local architect Arthur Van Horn. Local newspapers reported on the progress of construction of the building, which was to be a prize gem in the community. Finally, in 1914, it […]

  • Legislating Salaries

    North Dakota has always taken pride in being a wheat producing state with an economy tied to agriculture.  On this date in 1951, a novel approach was introduced in the North Dakota House of Representatives to adjust the salaries of elected state officials in parity with the average price of Number 1 hard wheat!  Beginning […]

  • Dakota Beer

    The Dakota Malting and Brewing Company announced on this date in 1961 that they would build a brewery in Bismarck. The ill-fated company planned on producing 65,000 barrels a day and employing forty people. Frank Bauer, who had thirty-three years in the brewing business, was chosen as Brew Master. From the onset, the company had […]

  • College Wars

    A bill was introduced to the Dakota Territorial government on this date in 1889 that sought to create the North Dakota Territorial Agricultural College at Valley City. The North Dakota Agricultural College would later become the North Dakota State University, although most listeners recognize that today the university is located in Fargo, not Valley City. […]

  • Nye Swears in (with Help)

    Gerald Nye served his first full day in the U.S. Senate on this date in 1926. Although appointed to the Senate by North Dakota Governor Sorlie in November, the 33-year-old Nye was not allowed to take his seat until January 12th, and only then with the help of fellow North Dakota Senator, Lynn Frazier. Nye’s […]

  • Schoolchildren’s Blizzard

    Perhaps the most tragic blizzard in North Dakota’s history occurred on January 12, 1888.  The Schoolchildren’s Blizzard, as it became known, affected the mid-section of the country, from North Dakota all the way down to Texas.  When the storm finally subsided, two-hundred and thirty people lay dead, mostly school-aged children. The enormous death toll of […]

  • Black Blizzard

    Much of the upper Midwest found itself in the throes of an extreme blizzard on this date in 1975. The storm ravaged nearly all parts of the entire country, extending from the northwestern coastal states to many of the southeastern states. While blizzard conditions roared in the Midwest, the southeast faced a tornado outbreak, producing […]

  • Mix Medora Wedding

    Tom Mix, the legendary cowboy of the silver screen, married Olive Stokes in Medora, North Dakota, on this date in 1909. Stokes, the daughter of a wealthy Oklahoma rancher, became Mix’s third wife. Olive and Tom met in 1904 when they were introduced by Will Rogers at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Rogers and Tom […]

  • Dalrymple’s Telephones

    Today, cell phones and computers keep rural America connected with the rest of the world, but the land line telephone has been the mainstay for over a century. In fact, the City of Bismarck installed a telephone system in 1882, but that was not the first phone system in the state. The Bismarck Capitol on […]

  • Shoppers

    It is no question that the holiday season brings with it a shopping frenzy at stores and malls across the country. From the stampede the day after Thanksgiving to the rash of returns and holiday sales on the day after Christmas, the holiday season is prime for shoppers. On this date in 1942, the Columbus […]

  • Thomas Moodie

    Thomas Moodie, the nineteenth governor of North Dakota, took office on this date in 1935. Moodie is best known as the state’s shortest-serving governor, serving only five weeks before being removed from office by the state’s Supreme Court. Born in Winona, Minnesota, in 1878, Moodie left school at the age of sixteen and moved west […]

  • Earthquake

    On December 28, 1908, 5:20 a.m. local time, an earthquake struck along the Straits of Messina, between the island of Sicily and mainland Italy. Magnitude of the earthquake was approximately 6.7 to 7.2, and the effects caused a tsunami, which struck within minutes. Unreinforced buildings collapsed, cities were destroyed, and the deaths were estimated at […]

  • John Moses

    Born and raised in Norway, John Moses, the future governor of North Dakota, first arrived on America’s shores in 1905. After a brief stint with the Great Northern Railway, and while maintaining both a farm and a family of four, John Moses established a law practice in Hazen, North Dakota. The ambitious Norwegian next turned […]

  • William Langer

    The 1930s proved to be a political rollercoaster for North Dakota’s most flamboyant and controversial politician, William Langer; the man who in six years, won, lost and then won again North Dakota’s governorship. Following a meteoric rise through state politics, and a successful gubernatorial campaign, Langer was first elected governor in 1932. However, as a […]

  • Tale of Two Governors

    North Dakota had not one, but two governors on this date in 1985. Two different men, George Sinner and Allen Olson, both claimed the state’s governorship. Olson, the incumbent elected in 1980, asserted that his four-year term began the date that he was sworn in, January 6, 1981. Therefore, he did not plan to vacate […]