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  • Ridiculous Retraction

    A retraction issued by Deputy United States Marshal A. B. Wood was sent to the Associated Press and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at the United States Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. on this date in 1910. The retraction, although a serious matter, was the result of a practical joke gone awry. It […]

  • Takako Konishi Urban Myth

    It was this week, in 2001, a Japanese woman was discovered dead after a mysterious cross-state sojourn that many believed was her search for the lost treasure depicted in the Coen brothers’ movie, FARGO. Takako Konishi was first noticed by a trucker who spotted the petite 28 year-old wandering near a landfill on the outskirts […]

  • Veterans Day

    Today is Veterans Day, a day to honor the many soldiers who have fought for us and our country throughout our history. On this date in 1932, local veterans from both the Spanish-American War and World War I were honored at an “Armistice Day Dinner” in Bismarck. Later in the month, Bismarck’s Spanish-American vets also […]

  • John Cowan

    In November of 1910, John Cowan, a well respected judge from Devils Lake, set a match to the tinderbox of prohibition by refusing to hear a case about two little “blind pigs.” Three-time attorney general, and the first North Dakota official to be impeached, John Cowan was born in 1858 in Moffat, Scotland. John didn’t […]

  • Empire Arts Center

    Driving down DeMers Avenue and headed toward the Red River, you will find the building some refer to as “The Jewel in the Heart of Downtown Grand Forks”. Otherwise known as the Empire Arts Center, the building has seen numerous name changes and several face lifts in its 90 year history. Minnesota architects Charles Buechner […]

  • Sealed with a Kiss

    In 1954, Marilyn Wentz was crowned homecoming queen of the University of North Dakota. It was announced by the Bismarck Tribune on this date through a photograph printed in the newspaper; the pretty girl forever caught in a state of high emotions, laughing and looking ecstatic as she sported her new crown. The girl was […]

  • Bumper Ballots

    A strangely unique political ploy was reported from Bottineau on this day in 1910. The ploy was enacted by the Democratic headquarters that city, and was discovered and reported by a group of angry Republican supporters. Apparently, the Democrats were distributing bumper stickers in support of their candidate for governor, John Burke. Among the stickers […]

  • UND

    The University of North Dakota was founded one hundred and twenty-six years ago, on this date in 1883. A full six years before North Dakota became a state, the Territorial Legislature approved a bill establishing the institution. Grand Forks native George Walsh submitted the bill, which anticipated the coming of statehood. The university’s location became […]

  • Blanchard Fire

    The thriving town of Blanchard was completely wiped out on this day in 1908, as an enormous fire ravaged the community in the early morning hours. The fire spread quickly, consuming the entire business section within a few short hours. Several residences were also destroyed, leaving many people homeless and possessing only the pajamas on […]

  • Early Churches

    The first church bell to ring in North Dakota was at a mission called St. Joe. It was known as the “Angelus Bell.” For some time in the early 1800s, French Canadian trappers and mixed-blood Indians around Pembina attended a small Roman Catholic chapel built there in 1812; it is the earliest known church in […]

  • Burlington Horse Thieves

    Horse thieves and hangings…Dakota Territory certainly could be a rough place at times. In the summer of 1883, two mysterious men arrived in the upper Mouse River valley, settling west of Burlington on the Des Lacs River. Claiming to be railroad contractors, John Bates and Stanley Ravenwood were quickly welcomed into the growing community; even […]

  • What Happened on November 2

    Today marks the 120th birthday of the great state of North Dakota. We entered the Union in 1889 along with South Dakota. The states were entered alphabetically, so North Dakota became the 39th state, with South Dakota at number 40. North Dakota shares its birthday with a number of well-known celebrities and historical events: It […]

  • Last Survivor

    The death of Philip Hill was reported on this day in 1917 in the pages of the Jamestown Weekly Alert. The paper claimed that Hill was the “last living survivor” of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Hill spoke often about his role in the battle, telling anyone within earshot that he had been […]

  • TR Church Contribution

    On this date in 1910, Pastor John Orchard of Dickinson presented his congregation with plans for a new Congregational Church in Medora, for which the citizens of the vicinity had been fundraising. Initiative for a new church building began the previous summer, and church members had been busy soliciting donations. Members raised over $1,000 by […]

  • North Dakota Mill and Elevator

    On this date in 1922, Governor Rangvold Nestos pushed a button that officially started the machinery of the soon-to-be-completed North Dakota Mill and Elevator in downtown Grand Forks. To this day, it is still the only state-owned elevator in the nation. Prior to the building of the mill, North Dakota farmers had been at the […]

  • Two Congressmen

    United States census director William Merriam announced his preliminary findings on this date in 1900, and made many in the state of North Dakota extremely happy. Although final results of the 1900 census, the twelfth census in the history of the United States, would not be available until July of 1902, Merriam felt confident enough […]

  • Ragnvold Nestos

    North Dakota has the distinction of having had the first governor to ever be recalled, but the person who took away his job in the recall election is little known today. Eighty-two years ago, today, Ragnvold Nestos, an immigrant bachelor from Norway, became the thirteenth governor of North Dakota. Nestos was born in a mountainous […]

  • Corn and Meatless Days

    Professor E. F. Ladd of the North Dakota Agriculture College made a proclamation on this date in 1917 that was surprisingly well-received among North Dakotans. The proclamation called on every citizen of the state to participate in the war effort by conserving certain food staples, such as bacon, beef, lard, mutton, pork, sugar, and wheat. […]

  • Trivia

    Today, we’re bringing you a variety of stories from around the state in the fall of 1914. Here’s a bit of trivia from a Towner County newspaper: “For every five square miles of plowing you travel 2,500 miles. That’s equal to a single furrow all the way around the earth. Getting enough wheat for a […]

  • Fargo Sanitarium

    The Fargo Sanitarium was featured in large front-page ads of the Fargo Forum during this week in 1910. The sanitarium advertised itself as North Dakota’s largest, and claimed that its non-surgical and drugless treatments would work wonders on patients suffering “acute and chronic diseases.” Although sanitariums are often associated with tuberculosis, there were actually a […]