Dakota Datebook

Roasting on an Open Fire

Saturday, November 28, 2009


On this date in 1965, a program promoting Christmas, put on by the merchants of Minot, received more news coverage than expected when a young man set the 40-foot community Christmas tree on fire.

A cabdriver spotted the fire, early in the morning, and alerted authorities. The tree was saved, though scorched, and the next day, its branches were adorned for the holiday, while a young man was charged for the incident.

As one person commented, “A burning Yule log may be appropriate this time of year, but holy mackerel, you don’t go around and burn an entire tree – especially a 40-foot one sitting plunk in the middle of Main Street.”

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker

November 29, 1965; Minot Daily News, p. 1 and 6

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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