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  • First Beer License in North Dakota

    For North Dakota, Prohibition had come with statehood in 1889.  Although ban on alcohol was extremely unpopular with the majority of citizens in the state, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and ministerial associations managed to thwart any efforts to amend the Constitution and repeal the laws.  Bootleggers and “blind piggers” became folk heroes, and bathtub [...]

  • On the Road with Richard Nixon

    Vice Presidential candidate Richard Nixon drew large crowds when he appeared on the campaign trail on this date in 1952.  He started the day in Moorhead.  His train arrived twenty minutes late, and when it did arrive, it overshot the station.  The large crowd had to wait while the train backed up. Journalists reported that [...]

  • Gateway to the West

    Fort Abercrombie was known as the Gateway to the West.  It was the first permanent United States military fort in what is now North Dakota.  Established in 1858 by an act of Congress, it was named for the officer in charge, Lieutenant Colonel John J. Abercrombie. The fort’s initial purpose was to guard the oxcart [...]

  • The Final Days

    On October 16th, Territorial Governor Mellette and Secretary Richardson met in Bismarck and canvassed the election results.  Completed on the 17th, they made the arrangements to provide a certified copy of the vote along with a certified copy of the North Dakota State Constitution to President Benjamin Harrison. It was hoped that the Presidential Proclamation [...]

  • 25th Anniversary of Statehood

    One hundred years ago, the City of Bismarck was filled with activity concerning the Fourth Annual North Dakota Industrial Exposition.  They were also commemorating the 25th anniversary of statehood.  Many of the members of the constitution convention returned to visit the scene where they worked so hard to place the 39th star on the national [...]

  • Last Execution

    It was on this day in 1944 that the Army Corps of Engineers and the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation reached an agreement on a Missouri Basin flood control project, known as the Pick-Sloan Plan, which led to the building of Garrison Dam.   And on this date, in 1905, John Rooney was hanged at [...]

  • Republican Triumph

    As one of his last acts as governor of Dakota Territory, A. C. Mellette would meet with Secretary L. B. Richardson and Chief Justice Bartlett Trip in Bismarck on October 17th to certify the fall election.  Once that was completed, he would send a certified copy to President Benjamin Harrison along with a copy of [...]

  • A Second North Dakota University

    In 1862 the United States Congress approved an act that authorized land grant colleges.  Through this system, grants of public lands were made to states and territories.  The purpose was to create at least one college dedicated to agriculture in each state and territory. In 1883 the Dakota Territorial Council passed a bill authorizing an [...]

  • Datebook Survey

    Here’s your opportunity to suggest the kinds of stories that you like best on Dakota Datebook. Take our Dakota Datebook Survey!

  • World War I, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and Doughboy Wesley R. Johnson

    On this date in 1918, American soldiers were in combat during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which began September 26th and continued until the Armistice, November 11th.  North Dakotan Wesley R. Johnson served among the U.S. troops.  Johnson was one of North Dakota’s youngest soldiers in World War I, being just seventeen when he joined Company M [...]

  • Remembrance in Stone

    Whitestone Hill was designated a State Historical Site in 1904.  On this date in 1909, a crowd gathered at the top of the hill to commemorate a new monument.  The monument was carved from Vermont granite.  At the top of the tall column, a soldier forever stands with his bugle to his lips.  The column [...]

  • Casselton Corn Show

    Casselton was in the midst of its first state Corn Show on this day in 1913.  Businessmen of the city planned the show to highlight the agriculture of the state, especially the growing and manufacturing of the several varieties of corn harvested in North Dakota.  The city raised $1,500 to fund the event, and invested [...]

  • Elaine Goodale Eastman

    The post-Civil War era in America was a time of reform.  In addition to movements dealing with suffrage, labor, and temperance, many “…idealistic reformers turned their attention to the plight of Indian people,” or more specifically, to Indian children.  In 1879, Captain Richard Henry Pratt opened the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, the first assimilation [...]

  • Post-Election Highlights

    One hundred twenty-five years ago on this date it was a week after the vote on North Dakota’s constitution. The votes were still being tallied, but newspaper headlines proclaimed a huge Republican victory and the passage of the Constitution.   With the exception of Richard Cowen in Rolla, not a single Democrat had been elected [...]

  • The Great Pandemic

    In 1918, the Spanish flu was a global disaster.  It is estimated that as many as a fifth of the world’s population was affected.  North Dakota newspapers asserted that ordinary care should be enough to avoid the disease.  As of the end of September, the Fargo Forum proudly announced that the Spanish flu had not [...]

  • The Medora to Deadwood Stage

    It was common knowledge in the 1880s that there was gold in the Black Hills.  Deadwood was a boomtown.  It seemed as if everyone was trying to get there.  The French nobleman Marquis de Mores was always on the lookout for a quick way to make money.  He once boasted, “I will be the richest [...]

  • Sioux Pageant

    A ceremony was reported from Standing Rock reservation on this day in 1913 that was hailed as “The Most Magnificent History Pageant in the History of the Sioux”.  Although the acclamation remains an unofficial observation, the pageant was undoubtedly spectacular, involving several thousand participants and spectators.  The Standing Rock Band was enlisted to perform, as [...]

  • Company B Rides Free

    North Dakota played an integral part in the Spanish American War. In 1898, President McKinley put out a call for volunteers.  North Dakota experienced a surge of patriotism.  In Fargo, Captain Keye asked Guard members willing to volunteer to take two steps forward.  It was reported that every man responded.  The volunteers did not know [...]

  • Number 61

    On this date in 1961, North Dakota native Roger Maris stepped up to the plate.  A hush came over the crowd.  Would the great Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs be broken?  Spectators were on the edge of their seats, as they just might witness sports history. Roger Maris joined the New York Yankees [...]

  • Election Eve

    The last week of the campaign had passed quickly, and tomorrow, the 1st of October, 1889, would hopefully change the political face of Dakota Territory forever.  For the first time in almost three decades, the people would be free of the political yoke of territorialism, free of carpetbaggers, and free to chart their own destiny.  [...]