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  • Fargo’s Christmas Tree

    The Northern Pacific Railroad founded Fargo in 1871. On the other side of the river, another town was growing at the same time – Moorhead. Minnesota was already organized, and there were concerns of how the Dakota Territory was going develop. But land in Moorhead was extremely expensive, so many people had moved to the […]

  • Blizzard

    Christmas Eve in 1935 was memorable because, for some, one of the state’s worst blizzards turned the holiday into a tragedy. The storm began in the northwest corner of the state and soon stretched east, to the New England states, and south to Ohio. By the time it blew itself out, nearly 200 people in […]

  • Governor Roger Allin

    Roger Allin, was born in Devonshire, England, on this date in 1848. Three years later, his family emigrated to Ontario, where he eventually went into farming. Allin moved to Dakota Territory in 1881 and filed a 160-acre claim in Walsh County. The following year he was elected justice of the peace, and in 1886, he […]

  • Flying Doctor

    Before helicopters were available, one UND-trained doctor used an airplane. James Mahoney, class of 1941, used his G.I. Bill to get his pilot’s license, but he had to get his training at 6 in the morning. “If you are going to get a night call, it usually doesn’t happen at sunrise, because they will usually […]

  • Noonan

    Anti-German sentiment ran high not only in the U.S. but also in Canada during the First World War. In some Canadian cities, full-fledged riots broke out. For example, an anti-German mob destroyed the Riverside Hotel in Calgary on February 10, 1916. Nine days later, the hotel owner’s saloon was also destroyed because he was German […]

  • Feats of Jealousy

    Residents in Mercer County were mystified by the death of a popular young rancher north of Beulah on November 3, 1916. At around noon, John Maier found his brother, Carl*, lying beside a public road between their farm and Beulah. Powder burns on Carl’s skin and clothing showed he’d been shot point blank, “once under […]

  • Maris Trade

    Baseball fans had mixed emotions at this time in 1966. Five days earlier, the Yankees traded home-run king Roger Maris to the St. Louis Cardinals in an even swap for infielder Charlie Smith. As one subway rider in New York put it, “You mean to say all MacPhail could get for Maris was Charley Smith?” […]

  • Frank Marshall

    Sparkie is just one nickname given to Lyndon Earl Marshall. The eighth of nine children, Lyndon was born to Albert and Maude Marshall on the family’s Hereford ranch near Forbes, ND, on this date in 1914. Marshall gained strong traits from his parents, including a lifelong love of learning, self-respect, how to be a good […]

  • White Bread Blues

    Owners of North Dakota’s grain milling businesses were in an uproar during this period in 1908. Bleached flour had just been outlawed through the efforts of Professor E. F. Ladd. As you may recall from earlier Datebooks, Ladd was a scientist at the North Dakota Agricultural College who became one of the Nation’s foremost crusaders […]

  • We’re Not Spies

    When World War I broke out, a large number of North Dakotans still had fairly strong ties to the old country. At this time in 1916, the Bismarck Tribune published a story that showed the lengths to which some had to go to prove they weren’t spies for the enemy: “The North Dakota railroad commission […]

  • Operatic Cowboy

    William Medora Pruitt was known as “Bill Proot” in 1913, when he was making his way east to New York. A scout for Henry W. Savage, a New York stage and film producer, had “discovered” Pruitt while the cowboy was entertaining at Glacier Park. Pruitt sang at a party hosted by Louis W. Hill, president […]

  • Patricide on the Prairie

    Today’s story is not a comforting one. It’s about an uncommon crime – patricide. While it’s not terribly unusual for children to kill their parents, the instances of girls killing their fathers is much lower. On the evening of April 28, 1930, officials were in Anamoose, 60 miles southeast of Minot, investigating North Dakota’s fourth […]

  • Wilton Hold-Up

    The First National Bank of Wilton was held-up by three armed men on this date in 1931. The heist was the sixth attempted bank robbery of the year for the area, but, the Wilton News added, “Robberies this year have not been profitable for the bank bandits.” Evidence of this may be seen in the […]

  • Fuel on the Prairie

    Concordia College Professor, Barbara Witteman, wrote “Prairie in Her Heart: Pioneer Women of North Dakota” in 2001. Today we bring you an excerpt that focuses on early cookstoves. . . Once shelter had been established, food and food preparation were high priorities. Every dwelling on the prairie had a stove. It was the most important […]

  • UND Glory Boys

    On this day in 1966, UND defeated Parsons 42-24, in the Pecan Bowl, to win the conference championship. UND linebacker Roger Bonk earned the Associated Press Little All-American honor – UND’s first – and quarterback Corey Colehour received an honorable mention. Seven members of the team earned all-conference honors and five went on to play […]

  • UND Med School

    North Dakota Public Radio would like to wish the University of North Dakota a special happy birthday! UND’s medical school is 100 years old this year. Back in the planning stages, a university bulletin announced more than 50 young men and women were forced to leave the state in order to secure even the first […]

  • Mission Life

    Between 1860 and 1900, eastern churches were intent on bringing the Christian religion to the western Native American tribes. Churches recruited missionaries and raised money for setting up missions, which consisted of a gathering place, housing for the workers and then, hopefully, a school. Prior to the time of Indian reservations, missionaries serving nomadic tribes […]

  • Burleigh Spalding

    Burleigh F. Spaulding was born in Vermont on this date in 1853. He was a congressman from North Dakota from 1899 to 1905 and later served on the ND Supreme Court. Spaulding was one of the commissioners appointed to select a new location for the capitol of Dakota Territory after it was spirited away from […]

  • Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull

    On this date in 1890, the Bismarck Daily Tribune ran a story about Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull, who at one time worked together in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. The story read: Buffalo Bill and party return from Standing Rock without the Sioux chief. “Buffalo Bill, Dr. Powell and Pony Bob returned to Mandan […]

  • Inmate School

    Inmates at the Bismarck prison made the news in December 1914 but not because they were causing trouble. They had decided they needed more education. The Bismarck Daily Tribune reported, “…prisoners at the State Penitentiary took the initiative in the matter of attempting to secure a school in which they could improve their time of […]