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  • Champion Barrel Racer

    North Dakota champion barrel racer Maude (Kirk) Gullickson was born on this date in 1911 in Washburn. Maude was the youngest daughter of Grant and Maude Kirk. She started riding horse as a toddler and rode nearly every day of her life until she was 73 years old. Maude trained and rode barrel-racing horses for [...]

  • Spanish Flu

    As the Spanish Flu swept across the country in 1918, no one was left unaffected. It wasn’t just the infection and possible death of a family member or a friend – each community felt the risk, and the consequences.   One report from Fargo noted that the flu was responsible for nine deaths in Moorhead, [...]

  • Fargo’s Red Light District

    Liquor and prostitution appear to go hand in hand, especially if the liquor is illegal. In the early Twentieth Century, most of the residents of Fargo who were prone to imbibe in the spirits of the vine, did so by crossing the bridge to Moorhead where wine and liquor were legal. But if they were [...]

  • A Chance Meeting with JFK

    If you could were able to share a meal and talk a little with anyone you wanted, who would you like to meet with?   On this date in 1960, the Aneta Star reported that John L. Hanson, a native North Dakotan who grew up in Aneta and graduated from the University of North Dakota [...]

  • Wrought Iron Cross Cemeteries

    Beginning in the 1870s, a new group of immigrants began arriving in the United States. The newcomers were from Central Europe and Russia, but they spoke German. These ‘Germans from Russia’ were ethnically German, and had fled their villages on the Russian steppes to seek freedom overseas. Thanks in large part to the Homestead Act, [...]

  • ND Lynchings

    On this date in 1882, even before it became a state, North Dakota experienced its first known lynching. Unfortunately, it was not to be the last. Perhaps even more unfortunate, is what eventually happened to the mobs of vigilantes who perpetrated these crimes. The scene is the city jailhouse in Grand Forks, ND. Locked up [...]

  • The Motive Was Revenge

    A terrible tragedy took place on this date in 1913 near Ray, North Dakota. Three people were brutally shot down. The motive seems to have been revenge. The Dillon family farmed near Ray, in Williams County in western North Dakota. It was the second marriage for Mrs. Dillon. She earlier was married to Maurice Culbertson, [...]

  • Hans Aaker

    At the turn of the 19th century, Hans Aaker was Moorhead’s leading prohibitionist, although he is best remembered for founding Aaker’s Business College in Fargo. A man of many endeavors, Aaker also served nearly a decade as Concordia College president before running for mayor of Moorhead, hoping to clean up “the Wickedest City in the [...]

  • Halloween Party

    Tomorrow is Halloween; it’s the time of year for costumed bodies to prowl the neighborhoods, banging on doors in hopes of a treat, crying out, “Trick or treat!”   Oh, yes, and we can’t forget the tricksters, on this holiday. Halloween wouldn’t be the same without it. Smashed pumpkins, toilet paper hanging from tree limbs [...]

  • Halloween Party

    Halloween means costumes and candy, spooks and scares and mischief. A little bit of damage was expected on Oct. 31st in years past—and cities prepared for the tradition, perhaps with extra police officers, perhaps with extra events.   On this date in 1934, the Grand Forks YMCA held the first of what was to become [...]

  • Late Season Twisters

    North Dakota is no stranger to adverse weather. Although the state tends to be best known across the country for its blizzards and snowstorms, the region is also a frequent victim of tornadoes and thunderstorms. However, it was a rare day indeed when, on this date thirteen years ago, the state witnessed not only rain, [...]

  • North Dakota Rodeo Star

    North Dakota rodeo star Henry “Almit” Breuer was a one-day-old newborn on this date in 1935. Born in Elbowoods, he was a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes. He grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation, where he has rodeoed, ranched and farmed his entire life. When he was just nine years old, Almit started [...]

  • Dakota Territory

    Dakota Territory was created on March 2, 1861.  Idaho Territory was removed from this in 1863, Montana Territory in 1864, and Wyoming Territory in 1868.  Even then, a further division was fermenting in the minds of the residents in the southern portion.  Almost immediately the citizens of Sioux Falls, Huron and Yankton began plotting statehood [...]

  • Swan Peterson’s Swedish/English Dictionary

    In preparation for his new life in America, Swan Peterson set fire to his belongings. He burned his Swedish diploma as a Swedish shoemaker. He burned his Swedish furniture, his Swedish clothes, even his Swedish sheet music. He packed his essentials, and left the rest of his belongings in ashes. Swan Peterson was a young [...]

  • Honest John

    Perhaps our tenth governor, John Burke was not as well-known as Abraham Lincoln, but the two share a similar incident that earned them the same sobriquet. As many may already know, Lincoln became known as Honest Abe when he repaid his debts after his store went bankrupt; what few may know is that although Burke [...]

  • Ballots and Bribery

    When Emmons County commissioner Henry Van Beck showed up at Inspector John Miller’s house, he was hoping to get the best of some political opponents before the county elections held today in 1892. Little did he know, Miller and the Russian-German settlement would get the best of him.   Van Beck, along with republican candidates [...]

  • Dr. Agnes Hoeger

    Good Samaritan homes exemplify “North Dakota Nice.” In 1922, the Reverend August Hoeger saw the need for such a facility and opened the first in Arthur, North Dakota. His daughter Agnes was impressed by her father’s example, and when she graduated from high school at fifteen, she entered college to prepare for work as a [...]

  • Countdown to Statehood – 2

    With slogans like “Benjamin Harrison! He’s grand beyond comparison!” and “Let’s put it over with Grover!” still rocking in their ears, the citizens of Dakota Territory on this date in 1888 waited anxiously for the presidential election returns. If Cleveland remained in office, it could be four more agonizing years before they could realize self-government [...]

  • Nash Finch Company

    After working in his father general’s store for several years, Fred Nash opened his own small candy and tobacco shop in Devils Lake in 1885. Business soon took off, and he enlisted the help of his brothers Edgar and Willis. He purchased a second store in Park River, and put his brother Edgar in charge [...]

  • Horses for Europe

    “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is a saying that was especially true following World War Two. Since tractors took over for horses in the fields, many farmers were left with horses they couldn’t get rid of. According to the Mandan Pioneer, North Dakota farmers had found an outlet for their extra burden.   [...]