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  • Anders and Bassanella Bros

    Today marks anniversaries in the lives of two North Dakota men who were complete opposites. One was the winner of the Medal of Honor, and the other was a cold-blooded killer. Today is the birthday of Frank Anders, who was born in 1875 at Ft. McKeen near Mandan, where his father was stationed. After his […]

  • Steinbeck

    Yesterday, we began a two-part series of Steinbeck’s exploration of North Dakota in his book, Travels with Charley. Today we pick up his words as he enters the west. I was not prepared for the Bad Lands. They deserve this name. They are like the work of an evil child. Such a place the Fallen […]

  • Steinbeck

    In the fall of 1960, celebrated novelist, John Steinbeck, along with his poodle, Charley, toured the country in a camper called Rociante and recorded his experiences in his book, Travels with Charley. Today, we begin a 2-part series on his experiences while in North Dakota. If there had been room in Rocinante I would have […]

  • Belfield Prairie Fire

    This was a tragic day in North Dakota’s history. As a result of a runaway prairie fire southwest of Belfield, the teacher of a country school and six of her students were killed. It was 1914, and the prairie fires that had been devastating western North Dakota that fall had been particularly severe. Within the […]

  • James Buchli

    One North Dakota man has traveled around the world at least 319 times. That’s 7.74 million miles. Pretty impressive, you might think, but here’s the kicker: he did it in slightly less than three weeks. This man, known as Jim to his friends, was born in New Rockford in 1945 and graduated from Fargo Central […]

  • William Guy

    On this date in 1968, William L. Guy became the first North Dakota governor ever elected to a fourth term. He served 2 two-year terms and 2 four-year terms between 1961 and 1973. Governor Guy was a 41 year-old farmer from Amenia when he was inaugurated. He was born in Devils Lake and has the […]

  • 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 […]

  • Bison/Sioux

    There are several interesting things that happened in North Dakota on this date in history. By this time in 1804, Lewis and Clark had arrived in the area, and according to their records, they began constructing their winter encampment on this date. The campsite they selected was on the Missouri River, in the vicinity of […]

  • Statehood

    On this date in 1889, North Dakota became the 39th state in the Union. Prior to this, the state was part of Dakota Territory, but there had been a growing rift between the south and north sections. The primary population of northern Dakota was made up of frontiersmen operating around Pembina – trappers, hunters, traders […]

  • Era Bell Thompson

    On this date in 1945, the first issue of Ebony Magazine was published. Now, one doesn’t typically associate Black culture with early North Dakota, but one of the state’s most noted celebrities, an African American woman, started out on a farm near Driscoll. Era Bell’s family moved to North Dakota in 1914 when she was […]

  • Ghost Story

    Today is Halloween, a good day for ghost stories, and North Dakota has no shortage of them. Legends have been floating around for years of the “Kindred Lights,” the “Grim Reaper” in a Baptist church near Fredonia, the “Fatal Stump” near Belfield, and the “Gas Chamber” on the deserted Oss farmstead near Hatton. In Grand […]

  • State 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 […]

  • 1st Governor

    Today marks the birthday of the first Governor of North Dakota, John Miller, who was born in New York in 1843. In the late 1860’s a group of wealthy investors from out east had been financing the building of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The rails were to run from Wisconsin to the Pacific Ocean on […]

  • 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 […]

  • Warren Christopher

    Today marks four important anniversaries and birthdays in this state. First, the founding of two North Dakota counties: Cass County was organized on this date in 1873 and was named for George Cass, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railway, and eight years later, in 1881, LaMoure County was founded and named for Judson […]

  • Griggs and Grand Forks

    Few people would guess that Grand Forks came into being because of a keg of beer, but supposedly it’s true. Traders were the first Europeans to visit the Red River Valley when they came to trade manufactured goods with Native Americans in exchange for pelts and furs. Known as Les Grande Fourches, a fork created […]

  • 1918 Flu Epidemic

    Following one of the most deadly flu pandemics in history, a 1919 October article in the Towner newspaper carried an article theorizing that the outbreak had probably stemmed from lack of embalming of black plague victims in the Middle Ages. The 1918 outbreak of influenza was devastating, killing 20 to 30 million people. As with […]

  • Amy Ruley

    Today marks the birthday of the queen of an NDSU dynasty – who also happens to be one of the most successful basketball coaches in North Dakota history. Amy Ruley has been coaching the NDSU women’s basketball team since she was 23 years-old. Since then she has catapulted her team to prominence with five national […]

  • Winnie Ruth Judd

    Seventy-one years ago today, Winnie Ruth Judd surrendered to police in Los Angeles after the remains of two women, one from North Dakota, were found in her traveling trunks. In 1931, White Earth native 24-year-old Hedvig “Sammy” Samuelson, was suffering from TB, so she quit her teaching job in Alaska to move to Phoenix with […]

  • A Day In The Life

    Around North Dakota, this date in history saw a wide variety of events – some typical and some not so typical. Back in 1879, the Great Northern Railway finally arrived in East Grand Forks. Later that same winter, the first train crossed the Red River into Grand Forks, ready to make its virgin journey into […]