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  • Quentin Burdick

    Senator Quentin Burdick was born in Munich, N.D. on this date in 1908. He was the son of Congressman Usher Burdick, who for many years served in the House of Representatives at both the state and national level. The younger Burdick earned his law degree from the U of M, was elected to US House […]

  • Indian Ponies

    General Philippe Regis de Trobriand, commander of Fort Stevenson, once explained one of the reasons the military struggled when fighting the Sioux during the 1870s. “His horse eats no grain ” he wrote, “he gets enough nourishment by grazing on the prairie… There is no equipment to carry. His saddle is nothing; his bridle just […]

  • Doctor Webster Merrifield

    Doctor Webster Merrifield became UND’s third president on this date in 1891. He refused for a number of years before finally accepting the position. Merrifield grew up in Vermont and graduated from Yale in 1877. For the next two years, he taught in a private school at Newburg, NY, and then spent the next four […]

  • Grand Forks Storm

    Grand Forks witnessed one of the worst windstorms in the recorded history of North Dakota on this day in 1887. The storm caused over $100,000 in damage and 4 deaths; trees were uprooted, and 100 homes and most businesses were damaged. The storm came so quickly it caught most citizens off guard. Two different storms, […]

  • Fort Buford

    Construction began on Fort Buford on this day in 1866; it was located where the Missouri meets the Yellowstone River (near Williston). Fort Buford served as a military post until 1881, when Sitting Bull surrendered to the fort’s military officials. Soldiers had to provide much of their own food, whether by gardening, fishing or hunting. […]

  • Duane Traynor, FBI

    On this date in 1942, a 39 year-old German named George Dasch called the FBI to set up an appointment to talk to J. Edgar Hoover. The night before, a German submarine had put Dasch and three Nazi terrorists ashore on Long Island, where they buried their uniforms and explosives. Four others came ashore at […]

  • Pilot at a Wailing Wall

    Paul Ebeltoft Sr. would have celebrated his 87th birthday yesterday. He was a well-known figure around Dickinson, and today we bring you a story he wrote of an experience he had in WWII. “It was D-Day plus an eternity, 1944. My squadron was moving from its temporary base in northern France to whatever I could […]

  • Audubon Hunts Buffalo

    Famed naturalist James J. Audubon arrived at Fort Union on this date in 1843, and for the next two months, he worked on pieces for Quadrupeds of North America. Audubon was an excellent shot and was eager to hunt buffalo. After killing his first bull, some fur traders he was with cracked open the animal’s […]

  • Car Runs Amok

    The news out of Beulah during this week in 1949 included a story of a car owned by one Leo Miller. When Miller cranked his car to get it started, he didn’t realize it was in gear – in reverse. When the engine started, the driverless car took off backwards, shot across the street and […]

  • Frank Fiske, Photographer

    Tomorrow is the birthday of Frank Bennett Fiske, born in southern Dakota Territory in 1883. Frank was just a baby when his father, George, left the military and tried his hand at ranching. The drought of 1888 brought that line of work to an end, and the following spring, George and Louise Fiske moved their […]

  • The Marquis de Mores

    The Marquis de Mores founded the town of Medora on April Fools Day, 1883, and named it for his wife, Medora von Hoffman, who was the daughter of a wealthy New York banker. The Marquis was only 25 when he arrived in the Badlands; just one year earlier, he had moved from France to work […]

  • State School of Forestry

    The immigrants who flooded into this region in the late 1800s found abundant fertile plains and a large variety of plant and animal life. But, as most North Dakotans know, there very few trees. Settlers soon realized unrestricted winds and winter blizzards were not only an irritation, but a constant danger. The state encouraged the […]

  • Nelson County

    In 1907, Norwegian author Martin Ulvestad wrote: “The first Norwegian who settled in the State of North Dakota was N. E. Nelson, the father-in-law of the well-known politician Jud LaMoure. Nelson was appointed as Customs Collector in Pembina in 1869 and has lived there ever since. He was also the first homesteader in the state. […]

  • Louis L’Amour on Reading

    Louis L’Amour is perhaps North Dakota’s most famous author. In his memoirs, he reflected on his early education, gained in large part from books he checked out of the Alfred Dickey Library in Jamestown. Here’s what he wrote in “Education of a Wandering Man,” Chapter 1: Often I hear people say they do not have […]

  • Turkey Vultures

    On this date in 1843, naturalist James Audubon observed Turkey Vultures along the Missouri River between Badger Creek and the Heart River. Six weeks later he again made note of them near Ft. Buford. Ten years earlier, Maximilian had noted a large tree covered with them in the Sheynne Hills of Sioux County. Turkey Vultures […]

  • De Trobriand, Soldier Artist

    Philippe Regis De Trobriand was born in France on this date in 1816. He was educated in Paris and trained for a military career. In 1841, he traveled to the U.S., met and married a NY heiress, and worked as a journalist. He fought in the Civil War and was present when Robert E. Lee […]

  • Dakota Zoo

    The Dakota Zoo in Bismarck opened its gates for the first time on this date in 1961. The attraction originally began has a private business, and then a labor of love, on a 67 acre plot of land on what was then the north edge of the city. Marc and Betty Christianson operated the Christianson […]

  • First Mosque

    A few miles west of Stanley, ND, is Ross, which technically existed as a town site as far back as 1887. It was really just a Great Northern stopping point back then, consisting of a siding and a water tank. Then, around the turn of the century, development began, and on this date in 1902, […]

  • Blue Laws

    On this day in 1928, the ND Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the State’s 19th century Sabbath-breaking law, which forbade Sunday sales. In State of ND v. Isaak Diamond, Diamond was charged with selling groceries on the Sabbath, but he claimed his action “did not constitute a public offense.” Diamond claimed the Sunday closing […]

  • Fort Lincoln Internment Camp

    Ft. Lincoln was built south of Bismarck around 1898 and is now owned by the United Tribes Technical College. It served various military purposes until 1941, when the U.S. Justice Department turned it into an Internment Camp for people the government deemed enemy aliens. The fort’s new purpose came as a shock when it was […]