Dakota Datebook

Robert Bruce

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Robert Bruce was an accomplished cornet player who was born in Belcourt on September 13, 1893. He worked as a cement mason in Walhalla and then as a tailor in Langdon at which time he played for the city band. When World War I came, he enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard with the Second Infantry Band, which became known as the Million Dollar Band. This band had been organized by North Dakota’s own Harold Bachman, and it gained national prominence.


On this date in 1926, it was announced that Mr. Bruce had been selected as a soloist by John Philip Sousa for his farewell European Tour – a proud moment for Bruce, a man of Chippewa descent from the plains of North Dakota.


Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis




Cavalier County Republican December 9, 1926


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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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