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  • Sam Crabbe’s Cows

    Sam Crabbe was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1869.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin as a civil engineer.  He worked for the city of Eau Claire, and later for a railway company.  In 1891 he arrived in Fargo.  He took charge of the first paving work in the city.  That was done […]

  • Harry J. Pearce

    When we picture high powered attorneys or the leaders of America’s many major corporations, we often think of the stereotype presented by Hollywood; a brash twenty something with East Coast roots, fresh out of an Ivy League college.  However, as is so often the case, such stereotypes are often inaccurate, and the real version is […]

  • Good Roads Movement

    The Good Roads Movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s sought to establish a good system of roads across the country. Originally, the movement was boosted more by bicyclists rather than motorists. However, as the car caught on, auto enthusiasts also saw the need for good roads. So did communities. The improvement in roads […]

  • State Mill

    The North Dakota State Mill was established in 1922, and it’s still going strong today. Around this time each year, the mill reports on its fiscal year, and in 2011 it reported a record profit – 22 percent higher than the record set the year before, and 705 percent more than the mill’s goal of […]

  • The Failed French Journey

    On this date in 1742, two French-Canadian explorers were making their way southwestward through North Dakota’s badlands. Louis-Joseph de la Vérendrye and his brother François, were the sons of Pierre Gaultier de la Vérendrye, the first known white man in the area that could become North Dakota. Little is certain about the brothers’ adventure. In […]

  • Cold War Reconnaissance Man

    During the Cold War, the United States actively monitored Soviet military activity around the globe, and on September 2, 1958, a nearly forgotten episode in history took the lives of 17 Air Force personnel. A C-130 aircraft left Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, on a supposedly routine flight. The aircraft had a front-end crew […]

  • End of the Line on the Dakotas’ Border

    The weather was bright and hot when an expert U.S. surveyor and his team finished marking the North Dakota-South Dakota border on this date in 1892. Split along the seventh standard parallel, the Dakotas are marked every half-mile by quartzite monuments. Over 700 originally lined the boundary. Only a few hundred remain today. Surveyor Charles […]

  • The Spitball Pitcher for Grand Forks, Steve Morse

    A long time ago, pitcher Steve Morse was a “spit ball artist” for the Grand Forks Flickertails baseball team.     On this date in 1912, the Grand Forks Herald reported that Morse and the Flickertails had lost a tough game to Duluth, 6 to 4, but the paper didn’t blame Morse, saying the “young gentleman […]

  • Trapshooting

    Trapshooting is one of three sports that involve shooting clay targets.  The sport can be traced back to 1750 in England.  The first American competition was documented in 1831.  Trapshooting was developed to provide practice for bird hunters.  Originally, live pigeons were used.  The sport is called trapshooting because the live birds were released from […]

  • Bertha Palmer

    As a listener, you’re likely a fan of radio and perhaps you’re from North Dakota, but even so, you probably haven’t heard of Bertha Palmer, a woman who was influential in both. Coming to North Dakota when she was two year’s old, she attended Devil’s Lake High School. After graduation, she served in various educational […]

  • Joseph Nicollet

    When Joseph Nicollet came to the United States from his native France in 1832, he arrived penniless and alone.  His promising scientific career had been interrupted by turbulent French politics, and he needed a new start.  He came up with a bold plan to map the Mississippi River Valley.  Lewis and Clark had reached the […]

  • Sibley, the Sioux and Stony Lake

    Another page was written in the story of Generals Sully and Sibley’s Dakota expeditions on this date in 1863. In the wake of the battles of Big Mound and Dead Buffalo Lake, General Henry Hastings Sibley and his men were forced to camp in Burleigh County with exhausted animals on July 27. In pursuit of […]

  • The Machine Gun Boys

    On April 4, 1917, Congress granted President Wilson’s request for a declaration of war. 14,000 American troops arrived in Europe by June of that year.  In July, the Dickinson Press was full of war news.  The newspaper reported a danger of food and fuel shortages, blaming the “unusual conditions” resulting from the war.  The chairman […]

  • North Dakota Road Maps

    Many an older North Dakota driver may recall a glove compartment filled with maps advertising their local gas stations.  These were gradually replaced by more colorful and fact-filled Official State Highway maps, and most recently by electronic versions.  But in the early 1920s, as the automobile gained popularity and motorists began traveling greater distances, few […]

  • The Wondrous Soil Of The Red River Valley

    The topography of the Red River Valley is very simple, it is VERY flat. The soil of the Red River Valley is perhaps not so well known as the topography, however. The soil underfoot is very deep and rich stuff, and it is the most fertile topsoil in North Dakota. This is because the valley […]

  • James Vranna and the Rose

    James Vranna was born on April 4th 1921.  He graduated from High School in Taylor, North Dakota and attended collage for 2 years.   Jim joined the Army Air Force in 1942, trained as a pilot and ended up getting his wings as a 2nd Lieutenant, flying the B-17 Flying Fortress. In the summer of 1944, […]

  • Explosion in Minot

    A violent explosion rocked Minot on this day in 1947. People were thrown to the ground as far as two blocks away, and windows were shattered throughout a four-block radius. The explosion occurred shortly before noon at the Westland Oil Company service station and bulk plant. It started with an undetermined detonation of gasoline holding […]

  • Circus Mishaps at Fargo

    Barnum & Bailey’s circus pulled into Fargo on this date in 1907, and it would soon experience a menagerie of mishaps. Early in the morning, the circus arrived from Ortonville, Minnesota, in four trains. Twenty tents were pitched at the show grounds near present-day Fargo North High School. The big top was 643 feet high […]

  • Minot, North Dakota

    In 1886, James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway was pushing its way across North Dakota.  As winter set in, the workers were having difficulty constructing a trestle across Gassman Coulee, so they decided to call it quits for the season.  It was plain this would be the end of the line for a while, so […]

  • North Dakota’s Only Recall-Elected Governor

    The only North Dakota governor to be elected in a recall election died on this date in 1942. Ragnvald Nestos was governor from 1921 to 1925. He was born in Norway in 1877, and came to Buxton, North Dakota at age 16. He spoke no English at the time, and lived with an aunt and […]