Sunday, December 18, 2011
An act of holiday kindness was reported from Arkansas on this date in 1934, when a Bismarck mother was reunited with her ill son in Little Rock. Young North Dakotan Edwin Cook relocated to Little Rock after joining the Civilian Conservation Corps – the New Deal work-relief program instigated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 to combat the Depression. While working with 211 other boys at the Fair Park Camp, Cook became seriously ill. When the camp doctor ordered blood transfusions for the patient, twenty-five campmates volunteered to be donors. After five weeks, however, Cook remained ill. The boy told a nurse that “…Christmas wouldn’t mean anything because he couldn’t see his mother.” When his campmates heard this, they scraped their money together and purchased his mother a train ticket. She traveled from Bismarck to Little Rock the following week and surprised her son just in time for Christmas.
Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job
The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Tuesday, December 18, 1934: p. 1.