Dakota Datebook

Bachelor of Ugliness Campaign

Saturday, December 18, 2004

In December 1913, the Fargo Forum reported, “What promises to be the greatest social affair of the year at the YMCA is the mammoth Bachelor of Ugliness contest to be conducted on New Years day. Already the members are…putting forth every effort to have the greatest laughing feast of the season…The dormitory men, gymnasium men, men in the night educational classes, gas tractor school men and old boys are holding…conventions to nominate their candidate.”

That night, gunshots and screams woke the “dormitory men.” In the ensuing chaos, a wounded boy was found with blood oozing from his mouth. When everybody was sufficiently shocked, another boy burst out laughing and officially declared the fake casualty was his nominee for the Bachelor of Ugliness degree.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

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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