Thursday, January 23, 2014
The Korean War broke out along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, just a few years after the end of World War II. As the United States cast a wary eye over the oncoming conflict, soldiers were once again drafted and recruited to fight against the perceived threats.
In January of 1951, National Guard units of Fargo and Moorhead busied themselves with preparations for this date, when they would send nearly 200 men to Camp Rucker in Alabama for “21 months of training” or more.
Fargo’s Company B tried to “bring order out of chaos,” according to the company commander. Company C of Grafton and Company L of Hillsboro would be leaving through Fargo as well.
The Fargo Forum reported that “Armories in Fargo and Moorhead will be the scenes of farewell this afternoon and evening before guard units march to trains headed for Alabama.”
In the meantime, snow and cold swept across the region. The temperatures dropped, the winds picked up, and snow flew through the skies. Fargo public schools and another 164 schools in the nearby area closed; Northwest airlines cancelled all its flights; the state highway department reported blocked roads; and the Overland bus company cancelled some of its scheduled routes. People were warned to stay off the highway. Visibility was low everywhere, especially in the prairie, where driving winds blew the snow, unhindered. Organizations cancelled their meetings, and even funerals were postponed.
Even in Bismarck, the Soo Line heading north was cancelled.
The Fargo Forum reported that “with a snowstorm whistling…the idea of going to Alabama seemed somewhat brighter to members of the three companies.” It was truly a North Dakota goodbye.
Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker
The Fargo Forum, January 23, 1951, p1, Tuesday evening
The Fargo Forum, January 22, 1951, Monday evening