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  • Rick Helling

    If you watched the World Series this fall, you saw a player named Rick Helling pitching for the winning team, the Florida Marlins. Rick grew up in Lakota, and today is his birthday. Immediately after high school, Rick pursued football, not baseball. He was playing for UND when an old Legion baseball teammate started talking […]

  • Edwin Ladd and Pure Foods

    Edwin Ladd was born on this date in 1859. He was one of the first chemists at the North Dakota Agricultural College and later became president of the school. Professor Ladd became nationally known for conducting research on food samples and discovering many to be impure and adulterated. Beef was laced with poisonous preservatives, and […]

  • James Rosenquist

    Today is the 70th birthday of one of the world’s most famous pop artists, James Rosenquist. Last month, the New York Times published a review of Rosenquist’s current art exhibit – a retrospective of his life’s work, which is on display at the Guggenheim in New York; it is, in fact, the museum’s first show […]

  • Joe Milo and Willie Ross

    On this day in 1914, a Bottineau prisoner was raising money, so his body wouldn’t be used for science. At the time, Joe Milo was facing a death sentence for his part in a double murder at Lansford. Because he was penniless and had nobody who would pay to bury him, he knew that his […]

  • Gorman Dogfight

    On this date in 1948, Lieutenant George F. Gorman wrote a letter stating, “…the Air Materiel Command has issued orders classifying the information as Secret. And this makes it a General Court Martial to release any more information. The Command has asked that my commanding officer and myself be court-martialed for releasing what information we […]

  • Boris Karloff

    Today is the birthday of William Henry Pratt, the great-grandnephew of Anna Leonowens, the inspiration for the book and movie, “Anna and the King.” He was born in England in 1887. This man was a charming and gentle man who later became an actor in the United States. In 1943, Pratt performed at the Fargo […]

  • Verendrye

    On this date in 1738, Pierre La Verendrye was midway through a 10 day stay with the Mandan Indians; reportedly, he and his group were the first white men to set foot in North Dakota, as well as the first to provide written records about the Native Americans they encountered. Verendrye was born at a […]

  • Pearl Harbor—Sim and Rup

    On this date in 1941, many North Dakotans witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, including Carl “Sim” Simensen. After graduating from Grandin High School, he went to UND and earned a degree in commerce. He joined the Marine Corps, was commissioned a second lieutenant, and in June, 1941, was assigned to the battleship U.S.S. […]

  • Father De Smet and the Snorer

    Father Pierre De Smet entered North Dakota from Montana in 1840, calling it the best “retreat” he ever made; he was petrified of warring Blackfeet. “…only a rocky point separated us from a savage war-party,” he wrote. “Without losing time, we…started at full gallop… That day we made forty to fifty miles without a halt, […]

  • Irving Gardner

    In 1881, a 21 year-old bachelor named Irving Gardner headed to Hope, North Dakota, to homestead. As he later wrote, he was unprepared for what lay ahead of him. “…The train was a freight train with a few passenger cars and a caboose in the rear. After traveling about half the distance toward Hope, the […]

  • Ole the Green Man

    On this date in 1914, it was reported that while in Grand Forks, Ole Evenson from Starkweather painted his entire body a bright emerald green. Nobody understood why he did it, as reported in the following newspaper story: When a Swede deliberately takes a can of green paint, and with a brush proceeds to decorate […]

  • Pioneer Wife, Part Three

    Today we pick up the final installment in our 3-part series about Helen Smith of Wimbledon, who won 1st prize from the Dakota Farmer for her article on living without a hired girl. I wash Monday, or rather wash with John’s help, I get things ready for the machine. The boiler is put on right […]

  • Pioneer Wife, Part Two

    Yesterday, we began a 3-part series on an article written by Helen Smith of Wimbledon for the Dakota Farmer in 1907. Here is part two, picking up after 3 of her 6 children have left for school in the morning: I first make ready for the oven the dessert, pie, or pudding as the case […]

  • Pioneer Wife, Part One

    In 1907, The Dakota Farmer, a magazine for farm families, asked for letters explaining how women managed farm homes without hired girls. The first prize went to Helen Smith of Wimbledon, North Dakota, and was published in the magazine in December of that year. Today we begin a three-part series covering Helen Smith’s submission: How […]

  • UND Hockey at the White House

    Three years ago today, eight members of the UND hockey team and their coach visited President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C. The Sioux had won their 7th NCAA National Championship, and Senator Dorgan said, “It seems to me that it is major league, at least in my heart, when UND wins a Division I National […]

  • Shoot ’em Up

    Charlie Cosgrove was born in Australia in 1861. When he was 21, he and his brother, Bill, moved to Dickinson to try ranching, and Charlie later described some of those early days: “The Hash-Knife out from Texas was in here… Their cattle, between three and four thousand head, had a hash-knife brand… In ‘86, the […]

  • Flett and Remington

    On this date in 1912, a Fargo newspaper article read: MURDERER SENTENCED FOR LIFE IS PARDONED. North Dakotas were outraged when a Casselton native was granted parole despite having been convicted of what was considered one of the most cold-blooded killings in the state’s history. More than 20 years earlier, Joe Remington, who had grown […]

  • Thanksgiving

    On the 350th anniversary of the original Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth Rock, the Massachusetts Department of Commerce wanted to hire a speaker for the celebration. Frank (Wamsutta) James, a Native American elder and activist, was chosen. Unfortunately, when the committee heard the speech he intended to give, they turned it down. “Today is a time […]

  • Norval Baptie

    In the 1890s, World Champion speed skater, John Johnson, raced a young teenager in Bathgate, North Dakota. Afterwards, Johnson told a Minneapolis reporter, “He’s the fastest fellow on a small rink that I’ve ever seen… he’s got such marvelous control that he could skate in a wash tub. His name is Norval Baptie. Keep the […]

  • Remington Goes Hunting: part 2

    Yesterday we talked about a hunting trip taken by the great western artist, Frederic Remington, in the late 1890s. Remington was new to hunting and was having a few misadventures. After several days of hunting prairie chickens near Valley City, the hunting party was moving north to Devil’s Lake. Remington wrote, “We were driven some […]