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  • Free Coal For Needy Families in Grand Forks, 1921

    Winter in North Dakota is not for the faint of heart, for blasts of Arctic cold can freeze your nose or your toes.  Sub-zero temperatures in January and February have always posed a challenge to homeowners, with the poorest residents of North Dakota facing the greatest challenge in paying to heat their homes. Today’s Datebook […]

  • The Groundhog and His Shadow

    As the calendar turned the page from 1940 to 1941, there was more than enough bad news in the papers.  The front page of the Fargo Forum reported on the fighting in Europe, and the predictions were bleak.  It seemed as if the countries of the world were falling like dominoes before the German Army. […]

  • Ingalls-Quiner Marriage

    As you know, Dakota Territory included what would become North and South Dakota, which gives North Dakota some claim to the Territory’s darling, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her parents were married on this date in 1860. Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake Quiner were 24 and 20, when they married in southeast Wisconsin. Charles was a […]

  • Death of Ole H. Olson

    North Dakota’s history of governors is turbulent, with several removals and even a recall. Ole H. Olsen, lieutenant governor under William Langer, became North Dakota’s eighteenth governor in 1934. He died on this date in 1954 in New Rockford, North Dakota. Olson was born in 1872 in Wisconsin to Norwegian immigrants. He graduated from Concordia […]

  • The Boys Are Coming Home

    World War I caused changes throughout the world. When the war broke out in Europe, North Dakotans were very reluctant for America to get involved.  Many of the state’s citizens were isolationists, and the large number of German immigrants may have been a factor.  Or North Dakotans may have had clear memories of sending troops […]

  • From Sheep to Shawl

    North Dakota is known for a variety of agricultural products.  The state leads the country in honey and sunflowers, among other crops.  Corn, wheat, and cattle are high on the list.  Very few people would think of sheep, but there is a sheep history in the state. On this date in 1936, The North Dakota […]

  • Leach Public Library

    In 1966, Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act to help preserve the diverse archaeological and architectural treasures of America. One example is the Leach Public Library in Wahpeton.   In the early years of the 1900s, only a half-dozen North Dakota cities had secured funding from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation to help construct a […]

  • Lights, Camera, Fargo

    Filming was just underway on this date in 1995 for Joel and Ethan Coen’s movie “Fargo.” The crime drama released in 1996 is often pointed to as Fargo and North Dakota’s first pop culture reference even though the film’s story had little to do with the city. A stammering car salesman hires two crooks from […]

  • Yellow Kid

    In 1898, the city of New York grew into “Greater New York” when Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Manhattan joined in one of the biggest consolidations of its time.  It became the world’s second-largest city with a multitude of fascinating things happening – fine-art, architectural grandeur, booming business, flourishing museums and libraries.  The […]

  • North Dakota Whirligig

    In what the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican called “the North Dakota Whirligig,” finances were very much in the news on this date in 1939.  The departments of state government had gotten into a habit of exhausting their budgets, with officials leaving office on January 1 with six months of the biennium left to go. […]

  • Wilton’s Soo Line Depot

    Fifty years ago the National Historic Preservation Act was created to help preserve the diverse archaeological and architectural treasures of America that were quickly disappearing.  One of these treasures, preserved and still visible today, is the Soo Line Depot at Wilton.   On this date in 1901, the North Dakota Press Association was making plans […]

  • The 22nd Amendment

    The original United States Constitution did not limit a president to serving only two terms.  George Washington set that precedent when he resigned after serving for eight years.  Washington’s voluntary two-term limit was the unwritten rule until 1940 when Franklin D. Roosevelt began a third term.  In 1944, he was elected to a fourth term. […]

  • 191st National Guard

    Yesterday marked the start of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. 632 members of the ND National Guard had been called up for active duty for the conflict, which lasted just a little over a month. The war erupted after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. 200,000 National Guard and Army Reserve troops had been mobilized, including […]

  • Levine out Dreams

    As with many professions, the legal field had historically been the province of men only. In North Dakota, one of the early women to enter the field was Beryl Levine. Born on November 9th, 1935, Levine attended St. John’s High School in Winnipeg. She began going to University of Manitoba while still living with her […]

  • George Defender, Bronc Rider

    The annual Cowboys Reunion Rodeo started out somewhat accidentally at the first Mercer County Fair in 1915. Among the exhibits was a shorthorn bull, and Frank Chase of Fort Berthold decided he wanted to ride it – which he did. The crowd was impressed and passed a hat, and Chase walked away with $30. It […]

  • A Hard Start to the New Year

    Some years get off to a hard start, like 1916 which began with a record-breaking cold snap.  On this date that year, Hannah, North Dakota was declared the coldest location in the United States with a temperature of 52 below.  40 below and colder were common throughout the state.  At 38 below, Grand Forks was […]

  • Red Kate

    Today marks the anniversary of the death in 1948 of Kate Richards at the age of 71. Also known as Red Kate, her brush with North Dakota made history. She was born in 1876 to Kansas farmers forced off the farm in by depression and drought. In 1887 the family moved to a poor section […]

  • A Winter with Lewis and Clark

    The Corps of Discovery spent more time in what would become North Dakota than in any other state during its expedition west to the Pacific Ocean from 1803 to 1806. In their 213 days here, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark spent over five months with the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. They wintered at Fort […]

  • Dakota Drama

    People complain that today’s politics have become too much of a show, more about drama than the issues. However, history reveals that humans have always been partial to drama. A great example is the end of the Emma Bates campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. While most of her campaign had remained drama-free with […]

  • Bison Begin the Win Streak

    The national championship win streak of a college football dynasty began on this date in 2012. NDSU’s Bison football team took home the trophy for 2011’s NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, beating Sam Houston State’s Bearkats 17-6 in Frisco, Texas. This win was the first FCS championship for NDSU, and three more followed in […]