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  • Strange SOS

    A strange story was reported out of St. Paul to the Fargo Forum on this date in 1909. The United States Post Office district headquarters there received a strange and alarming telegram from North Dakota that they hoped to clear up. The telegram spoke of a murder taking place on the far western prairie, in […]

  • Stop Thief!

    A few residents of Jamestown wrote to the Fargo Forum on this date in 1898, relating a practical joke that some in the city had played on a certain prohibition officer. The Jamestown residents wrote after reading about officer’s arrest for selling confiscated liquor. Detective Hamre, the prohibition officer, was with the North Dakota State […]

  • Mayor Misdemeanor

    Bismarck’s mayor, E. G. Patterson, was arrested on this date in 1900 on charges of keeping a gambling house. The “gambling house” in question was none other than one of Mayor Patterson’s hotels, in which he had been running games quite publicly for some time. At the start of each legislative session, in fact, Mayor […]

  • Capitol Fire

    The North Dakota State Capitol building burned to the ground on this date in 1930. The four-story, red-brick building burst into flames sometime during the night. Two state employees suffered injuries while attempting to save some of the files and records from the flames, but when all was said and done, most of the state’s […]

  • Seth Bullock Reappointed

    The White House announced the reappointment of Seth Bullock as U. S. Marshal for South Dakota on this date 100 years ago. Bullock is best known for his role as Sheriff of Deadwood, Dakota Territory during the 1870s. It was during this time that he met Theodore Roosevelt, then deputy sheriff of Medora. The two […]

  • St. Louis Boycott

    A public meeting held in Pierre on this day in 1884 generated a threat to boycott all products from the city of St. Louis, Missouri coming into Dakota Territory – a result of Missouri Senator George Vest’s strong opposition to admit Dakota as a state of the Union. Residents of Jamestown, on the other hand, […]

  • Christmas 2009

    What will Christmas be like one hundred year from now? An unknown author pondered this question one hundred years ago in an article carried in newspapers across North Dakota. He predicted that on Christmas of 2009, men will travel through the air as commonly as they travel on land, and a vast subterranean network will […]

  • Free Press Souvenirs

    Those residents of Fargo on the Winnipeg Free Press mailing list delighted in receiving their annual Christmas souvenirs on this date in 1909. The unusual and unique Christmas souvenirs from the newspaper had become an annual event in the area, and were eagerly looked forward to by many members of the community. The Winnipeg Free […]

  • Carrington Hospital

    The Carrington Hospital Association was chartered on this date in 1915 in Carrington, North Dakota. Although the city of Carrington had been growing since the arrival of the Northern Pacific railroad in 1882, no medical facilities existed, and those needing a doctor were forced to travel nearly fifty miles to Jamestown. The area around Carrington […]

  • Dry Zone Null and Void

    On this date in 1910, Judge Amidon of Fargo ruled in the case of the state of Minnesota vs. Sullivan, a case in which Sullivan was charged with bringing alcohol into Traverse County, Minnesota,. The county, as well as most of the state, was a declared a “dry zone” by the Treaty of 1851, made […]

  • Garney Henley

    Canadian Football League All-Star Garney Henley was born on this day in 1937 in Elgin, North Dakota. To this day, Henley is considered one of the CFL’s greatest players, where he had an amazing career with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. His life is documented in the biography, Garney Henley: A Gentleman and a Tiger, by […]

  • Non-Swearing Knights of America

    Mr. R. C. Wynn, founder of the Non-Swearing Knights of America, announced on this date in 1908 that the organization would build its headquarters in Minot. Mr. Wynn made the announcement to the Grand Forks Herald. Great Northern Railway conductor by day and Non-Swearing Secretary and Treasurer by night, Wynn related the history of the […]

  • James Burdick

    The appointment of James H. Burdick as U. S. Marshal of Dakota Territory was confirmed by the Senate on this date in 1872. Burdick was appointed by the U. S. Attorney General at the request of President Ulysses S. Grant. He was to replace the standing Marshal, Laban H. Litchfield, who had been in office […]

  • U.S.S. North Dakota

    The keel of the American battleship to be named after the state of North Dakota was laid on this date in 1907. The ship was the largest ever launched in American waters at the time, measuring 510 feet in length and having a displacement of 20,000 tons! The ship was christened the U.S.S. North Dakota […]

  • Yuletide Epidemic

    The American Red Cross labeled a nationwide flu epidemic a “disaster situation” on this date in 1968. The organization called on public schools and colleges throughout the country to close for winter break earlier than scheduled if respiratory illnesses appeared high. The 1968-69 flu season was the last recorded flu pandemic in the United States; […]

  • Foreign Game Birds

    Hunters in North Dakota are well aware of the variety of the state’s game birds, both native and imported. As early as 1910, Chinese, ring-necked pheasants were released in parts of the state, partly to introduce another game bird and partly to replace a significantly reduced population of prairie chickens. The stock for breeding these […]

  • Rubberneckers

    Newspapers reported on the outcome of a very public trial on this date in 1900. In the case of the State of North Dakota vs. Freeman, Mr. Freeman of Valley City was acquitted of charges of two counts of physical assault with a firearm and attempted murder. Although these were very serious charges and a […]

  • WPAK Radio

    Everyone is familiar with North Dakota State University, located in north Fargo, but back in the early 1920s, the school was known as the North Dakota Agricultural College, or the “A.C.” The college advertised itself as “North Dakota’s Institute of Technology, designated for the training of Vocational Teachers under the Smith-Hughes Act, offering thirteen Baccalaureate […]

  • Lunar Lickings

    A strange case was brought before Judge Murray’s court in Minot, North Dakota, on this date in 1910. A man charged with assaulting his wife claimed the woman was under the influence of the moon. Saying his wife would change her temperament with the changing of the moon, Louis Irving believed he was justified in […]

  • Foul Fuel

    A horrible catastrophe was reported from Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on this day in 1900. It was days earlier, however, that a steamboat carrying tanks of fuel crashed on the Missouri River. Members of the Sioux tribe on the Standing Rock reservation realized that the fuel would be a valuable commodity to help keep warm […]