Dakota Datebook

Prize Pumpkin

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The Territory of Dakota announced its contribution to the New Orleans Exposition on this day in 1884. Territorial officials announced that the state would send a prize pumpkin, weighing 185 pounds, to the city. The 1885 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition was to highlight commercial enterprise throughout the world. North Dakota’s pumpkin represented the pursuits of the state’s earliest farmers. It joined Jamaican rum, southern tobacco, New England steel, and gold from Mexico. Holding the exposition in New Orleans also served to celebrate post-Civil War Reconstruction in the city. As a symbol of healing and unity, the city of Philadelphia even sent the Liberty Bell, to be showcased alongside American industry. Philadelphia Mayor William Smith hoped the bell’s presence would “restore and cement the…patriotic spirit” of the country.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job

Sunday Morning Alert (Jamestown), November 9, 1884: p. 6.



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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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