2796 search Results for: datebook

  • Paul Johnsgard

    Paul Johnsgard, famed ornithologist and author of over fifty books, was born in Fargo on this date in 1931. Growing up in North Dakota, Johnsgard’s love for wildlife was fueled by his forays into the nearby plains and wetlands. His father took him hunting, and his mother encouraged his interests, but his mother’s cousin, “Bud” [...]

  • Balloons

    Every day, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 102 sites in the United States, Caribbean and the Pacific launch a large, white balloon into the air. There’s a device, called a radiosonde, attached to the balloon; it’s a battery-powered instrument, and its sensors measure and transmit profiles of air pressure, temperature and relative humidity [...]

  • Richardton Meteorite

    A large meteorite crashed to earth about twenty miles south of Richardton, North Dakota, on this date in 1918. “The fireball of the meteoroid … was witnessed over an area of … 18,000 square miles.” As far away as Mandan and Dickinson, witnesses recalled that, “As it came down, it illuminated the landscape to almost [...]

  • Divorce Mecca No More

    North Dakota’s infamous “Ten-Minute Divorce” law expired on this date in 1899, making the state’s quickie divorces a thing of the past. Under 1866 Dakota Territorial law, divorce proceedings could begin immediately upon arrival in Dakota. In 1877, the territorial code was amended, requiring three months residency. This code became law once North Dakota achieved [...]

  • Walcott Tornado

    A tornado struck near Walcott, North Dakota, on this date in 1955. Although rated an F4 on the Fujita scale, the National Weather Service claims that the tornado probably reached the wind speed and size of an F5 several times before it dissipated. If true, it would be one of only three F5 tornadoes to [...]

  • Gas Supply

    C. L. Murphy accidentally discovered natural gas near Westhope, North Dakota, on this date in 1907. Murphy had set up a wooden drilling rig in hopes of locating water on land owned by W. B. Parker. Mr. Parker hired Murphy to build a well for his livestock and farm operations, and was surprised to hear [...]

  • Statues and Sculptors Connections

    Dakota Datebook has often chronicled the July 4, 1914 celebration of North Dakota’s and Norway’s historical ties with the Lincoln statue dedication ceremonies. That event featured Gov. William Hanna and a contingent of state personalities, including former Lincoln White House guard Smith Stimmel, at Kristiania, Norway. The magnificent bust of Lincoln and its Kristiania (now [...]

  • Frederick Alderman

    Fargo Police Officer Frederick Alderman was accidentally shot and killed in the line of duty on this date in 1882. At only twenty-five years old, the ill-fated officer had served with the department only two months. Born in Oakfield, Wisconsin, in 1857, Frederick moved to North Dakota and began working as an officer for the [...]

  • The Night of the Flying Saucers

    If we were to read this headline today in North Dakota, it still might pique interest. Imagine it as the banner headline of the Fargo Forum in 1947. Typeset in all boldface capital letters it read, Report: “Flying Saucer” Seen in N.D. July 6 was a Sunday in 1947, an especially important day for newspapers. [...]

  • 1936 Drought

    With temperatures as high as 119 degrees, North Dakotans were battling one of the worst droughts in American history on this date in 1936. Governor Walter Welford, pleaded with President Roosevelt for aid. A month earlier, Welford had proclaimed a statewide day of prayer to save the state from tragedy, but the rain did not [...]

  • First Earthquake

    The first instrumentally-located earthquake in the history of North Dakota occurred on this date in 1968. Prior to this, North Dakotans had felt earthquakes as early as 1872, although these were centered as far away as Nebraska and Iowa. The quake of July 8, 1968, was centered near Huff, North Dakota, and was measured at [...]

  • Rudolph Kurz

    Swiss artist Rudolph Kurz began working for the American Fur Company on this date in 1851. Unlike fellow western artist George Catlin, twenty-nine year old Kurz had been subjected to intense artistic training in Europe. For over twelve years he had studied under Classical masters, including fellow Swiss artist Karl Bodmer. It was Bodmer who [...]

  • Cartoonist for Congress

    John Miller Baer, the first Representative elected to Congress under the endorsement of the Nonpartisan League, began his first full term on this date in 1917. Baer had been first elected to serve a partial term in 1915, filling the vacancy left by Representative Henry Helgesen. Despite his political interests, Baer was best known to [...]

  • Vera the Elephant

    The Tarzan movies showed us scenes of how evil ivory traders and unscrupulous explorers tracked wounded and aging elephants to the elephant graveyard. The elephant graveyard was that mysterious, perhaps mythical location that all old elephants go to die… all except one that is.   Vera was an Asian elephant born in the wild in [...]

  • Stone Viking

    A Viking monarch sculpted in stone celebrates his 100th birthday today in Fargo. While the striking figure is one of the city’s most recognized, it is likely one of its least known or understood. Who is that Viking and why is he nearly hidden in a small downtown park? In 1912, the large population of [...]

  • Minuteman Missile SHS

    The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site opened on this date in 2009 near Cooperstown, North Dakota. Containing both the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the November-33 Launch Facility, the site “…introduces visitors to the state’s role in international relations and the significance of missile installations on North Dakota’s history and culture.” On continuous [...]

  • Cool Beer

    In the taverns of the 1880s, beer tended to be stale, especially if there was any delay between servings. On this date in 1885 one Bismarck bar owner installed a brand new invention that utilized a pressurized air cylinder connected through tubing to kegs of beer in a cellar ice box. Also connected to the [...]

  • Yellowstone Return

    The steamboat Yellowstone made history on this date in 1832, completing the first successful voyage up the Missouri River to Fort Union, in present-day North Dakota. Before the Yellowstone, the shallow water and snags made travel too treacherous for steamboats. Traders and merchants had to drag keelboats upriver, and then sail downstream with their cargo. [...]

  • Leonard Day

    On this date in 1923, a man by the name of Leonard Day was in Medora, waiting for the rain to end so he could continue on a hike … one that he began two years before!   Day was a lecturer and a writer from California, and he was travelling under a pseudonym. He [...]

  • Ott Black

    Mandan’s slogan, “Where the West begins” was especially true in the late 1880s. Cattle thrived on the tall grass prairie that stretched for hundreds of miles to the west. Towns such as Dickinson and Medora became railheads for beef fattened on the open range. And with these towns and ranches came the cowboy. Long, sinuous [...]