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  • 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 […]

  • North Dakota’s First Year

    On this date in 1890, one full year had elapsed since the creation of the states of North and South Dakota.   On November 4th, 1889, Gov. John Miller issued a proclamation requesting all duly elected legislators to meet on Tuesday, November 19th, to elect two senators for the United States Congress and attend to the […]

  • I Christen Thee USS North Dakota

    It has been a long time since a United States naval vessel carried the name of North Dakota.  The dreadnought battleship North Dakota was decommissioned in 1923.  Now, once again, the USS North Dakota sails the seas.  In July, 2008 the Secretary of the Navy honored the state by announcing that a new Virginia-class submarine […]

  • Safety Island Sanctuaries

    North Dakota has more national wildlife refuges than any other state, 63 in total. On this date in 1935, the press was alerted to the establishment of two more of these “safety islands” in North Dakota – Des Lacs and Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuges. The two refuges were established to benefit migratory waterfowl. North Dakota […]

  • Not Very Minnie

    Minnie Jean Nielson was a hardworking woman. Born in Jackson, Michigan, her family moved to Valley City, North Dakota where she attended high school. After graduating, she demonstrated her work ethic by going University of North Dakota, the University of Michigan, and summer school at the University of Chicago.  She became a teacher of chemistry […]

  • Influenza

    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 […]

  • Harvest in North Dakota

    An unusual harvest took place in Enderlin, North Dakota in 1938.  It wasn’t a harvest of wheat, soybeans, or corn, it was a harvest of trees.  That may bring logging to mind, but the Enderlin harvest was not for lumber.  On this date in 1938, the United States Forest Service announced that in seventeen days, […]

  • Summerall’s War Bonnet

    On this date in 1928, area residents of Bismarck and Mandan prepared for the imminent arrival of Major General Charles Summerall. The general was on an army camp inspection tour. Upon arrival he was met with a fair amount of pomp. He toured the city, inspected Fort Lincoln, and spoke at a banquet thrown in […]

  • Anniversary of Norse Settlers

    In his extensive history of North Dakota, Elwyn Robinson describes how Norwegian immigrants made their mark.  They carved out homesteads and settled the land.  As the railroads came through and towns sprouted on the prairie, these new immigrants adopted the language of their new home.  Many Anglicized their names.  Laverans Fjelstad became Lewis Fisk.  But […]

  • With Love From Fort Yates

    The man known as the first white accepted into the Yanktonai Sioux Nation penned a letter to relatives on this date in 1913, describing his experiences at Fort Yates, North Dakota. Alfred B. Welch, a North Dakota National Guard commander, was given the name Charging Bear by Chief John Grass, who a few months earlier […]

  • Goosefest

    Kenmare has identified with geese for decades; their school mascot is a snow goose, and their sports teams are called the Honkers. The town’s goose appreciation is at its zenith this week as the city celebrates its Annual Goosefest. As the self-proclaimed Goose Capital of North Dakota, the city hosts this hunting festival every October […]

  • The USO in Fargo

    Once World War II ended, the United States settled into a peaceful existence, but the lull did not last long.  By August, 1950, President Truman obtained the consent of Congress for military action in Korea.  Men were once again being drafted and heading to war.  The nation began to mobilize, including United Service Organizations – […]

  • Golden Days of Lewis and Clark

    The Corps of Discovery enjoyed a pleasant day on this date in 1804 as the expedition pulled up the Missouri River near present-day Huff, North Dakota. One historian said that if ever the party was like a bunch of guys on a long camping trip, it was now for Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their […]

  • Happy Birthday, Jack Dalrymple

    The city of Casselton has a great claim to fame in North Dakota with five of its residents going on to become governor. One of them, current governor Jack Dalrymple, was born on this date in 1948 in Minneapolis. He was raised on his great-grandfather’s farm near Casselton, an operation with roots that extended back […]

  • “Little Bulgaria” Called Home

    In the fall of 1912, the political situation between Turkey and the Balkan states was tense, with both sides wanting to control territory that included Thrace and Macedonia.  Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria had united as the Balkan League and were interested in expelling Turkey from the region. Tiny Montenegro began hostilities with an attack […]

  • A Boom from the Boom

    The oil boom has brought more people, more houses, and more jobs to North Dakota. Many people would say the boom has been a good thing. However, as time progresses, more people are coming forward with complaints about the side effects, including workplace risks. The death of Dustin Payne is just one of many examples. […]

  • The Belgian Hare Department

    North Dakota is a major agricultural state, but while people might think of sugar beets, wheat or soybeans, they rarely think of rabbits.  However, North Dakota has a history of commercial rabbit production for food and fur. Rabbit was common menu fare until the increase in beef consumption in the 1960s. One of the most […]

  • The Lone Wolf

    On this date in 1926, the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican reported the second arrest of Norris Forrest.  Forrest was the “Lone Wolf” burglar of Minot, North Dakota.  He had been arrested and committed to the Ward County Jail, but he quickly broke out and disappeared. He was considered quite notorious.  A reward of $300 […]

  • Across the Bridge

    Around this time in the fall of 1914, new Fairview Lift Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel opened for traffic. The Great Northern Railway had begun construction in 1912 as part of its Montana Eastern Railway, a line that was never finished. The lift bridge spans the Yellowstone River south of its confluence with the Missouri – […]