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  • William Langer’s First Term

    One of North Dakota’s most controversial governors, William Langer, was born this date in 1886 in northern Dakota Territory. Graduating from Casselton High School in 1904, Langer studied law before settling in Mandan where he started his own law firm. Within a few years, Langer left private practice and was elected North Dakota’s Attorney General […]

  • WPA Sauerkraut

    We talk about tightening our belts in the face of economic depression, but even the struggles we face today are nothing like the struggles of the thirties. Many people across the nation lost everything in the Great Depression, and North Dakotans were not excluded. Franklin Delano Roosevelt established his New Deal to provide for the […]

  • William Jennings Bryan

    On this date in 1916, William Jennings Bryan spoke to more than 3,000 people gathered at the Grand Forks city auditorium. He was in the state to support the Democratic ticket, and it was his ninth speech in the state that day. Sixteen years earlier, Bryan spoke before a crowd of 5,000 people in the […]

  • For the Love of Casserole

    The Fargo Forum reported on this day in 1974 that, in an effort to save money and conserve food, First Lady Betty Ford had introduced the White House to the Midwestern casserole. Although most North Dakotans are extremely familiar with the mighty casserole, the dish appeared to be a novelty among East Coast politicians. However, […]

  • Fly By Sunday

    In 1930, it was not uncommon for North Dakotans to hear airplanes flying overhead. But having one land was still a matter of interest, and on this date, it was reported that an airplane, which landed in Sharon, North Dakota, was a cause of intense curiosity-perhaps even more so, as the unexpected roar of the […]

  • North Dakotas Leaning Tower

    North Dakota and Italy have more in common than you might realize. Sure, one doesn’t generally think about North Dakota in terms of ancient ruins, gondola rides, and exotic cuisine, but North Dakota does have historic encampments and Indian villages; tubing on Missouri, it’s own exotic cuisine … sauerkraut, fleischkuekle and lutefisk for example … […]

  • Rabbi Benjamin Papermaster

    In 1891, the city of Grand Forks consisted primarily of Scandinavian immigrants. But with the growth of the city, more immigrants came from Eastern Europe and Russia, seeking a better life. The city’s Jewish community grew, expanding to 60 families. One week before Passover in 1891, Rabbi Benjamin Papermaster arrived in Grand Forks. Coming from […]

  • Corinne Wrastles a Calf

    When the train pulled up to Medora hours before dawn in early September of 1890, Theodore Roosevelt’s ranch hands were already there; eager to see their longtime friend and meet his sister Corinne Roosevelt Robinson. Theodore had often bragged about her skill as a mighty horse rider. He had built up her reputation so much, […]

  • Comstock House

    It was announced by the Fargo Forum this week in 1974 that the Comstock House in Moorhead, Minnesota was being considered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The listing was created in 1966 as part of the National Historic Preservation Act, and is maintained by the National Park Service. Nominations are submitted […]

  • Gregory Peck Film

    Actor and producer Gregory Peck visited Fargo during this week in 1974 as part of a tour promoting his newest production, The Dove. The film was Peck’s third attempt at producing, and proved to be his last, although witnesses to the fanfare exhibited at the Hector Airport during his arrival would not have guessed as […]

  • Stereopticons Used by School Superintendents

    …. with our final essay for Education Week. In today’s modern schools, students and teachers have access to great technologies like SmartBoards and PowerPoint programs. In 1916, school superintendents in North Dakota experimented with multimedia presentations too, using one of the latest and greatest technologies of the time: the stereopticon. “The stereopticon in North Dakota […]

  • Book Burning in Drake

    …. continuing with school-related themes on this Education Week. When the janitor of Drake public school tossed a pile of books into the building’s furnace in 1973, he did not do so as a symbolic act or a political statement. The school always burned its waste, and the thirty-two copies of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five […]

  • Nuns in North Dakota Schools

    … as we observe Education Week. In 1946, the people of Selfridge feared that an “undemocratic and un-American” presence had infiltrated their public schools. The suspects were not devious spies, but rather Catholic nuns. In 1943, the taxpayers of Selfridge signed a petition to hire Benedictine sisters to teach in the public school in the […]

  • New Education System

    … continuing our Education Week series. In 1942, while other schoolchildren were stuck inside a classroom learning reading, writing, and arithmetic, the children of Wing village spent their days in workshops, classrooms, and fields learning the finer points of shoe repair, woodwork, and gardening. These students were the beneficiaries of a new education system devised […]

  • The Sardine Can Bus

    Before the introduction of the big yellow school bus, school-provided transportation was non-existent for the students of rural, one-room schools. Most children in North Dakota made their way to school the old-fashioned way – by buggy, sled, horseback, or on foot. But one lucky group of children rode to school in style aboard a horse-drawn […]

  • Early North Dakota Education

    When a child hears the word “school” today, he or she might think of brick school buildings, big yellow buses, computers, and textbooks. But the word school meant something very different to the first students of North Dakota. School meant walking two miles to a one-room structure made of wood, stone, or sod to learn […]

  • North Dakota School for the Deaf

    This is Education Week. On September 10, 1890, the North Dakota School for the Deaf was founded in Devils Lake. Only one student made an appearance on that first day of class, but by the end of the year, 23 pupils were enrolled. The original school was housed in an old frame building provided by […]

  • Flaming Tractor

    In the good old days, farming could be difficult. Instead of the heavy machinery of today, farmers relied on horses. The dangers of being kicked, dragged, trampled or trod upon were not pleasant, and so switching to gas machinery was a welcome change. However, on this date in 1925, Fred Kelter, a farmer near Center, […]

  • Joseph Nicolas Nicollet

    Throughout the nineteenth century, humanity’s knowledge of the world expanded at a spectacular rate. As Europeans set out for destinations around the globe in search of new trade routes, to spread their faith, sell their goods or simply explore the world, many returned with detailed maps and fabulous stories about lands the rest of Europe […]

  • French Fries

    The British call them “chips,” served with deep-fried slabs of cod fish, and wrapped up in yesterday’s newspaper. The French refer to them as “frites,” served up with mayonnaise or mustard. And the Canadians prefer them doused in malt vinegar, with salt liberally applied. But here in America, we call them French fries. Americans bought […]