Dickinson Does

Nov 5, 2018

In 1925, when it was decided that the American Legion would hold its next state convention in Dickinson, a contest was started for a snappy city slogan. The winning slogan would then be used as advertising for the convention.

The legionnaires suggested that “a short snappy slogan” would have the best chance of winning, and they even gave some examples from other towns —“Why not Minot?” for one, and for another, “Wide awake Devils Lake.” There was a cash award for the first- and second-best slogans. A whole $5.00 would go to the winner, and $3.00 to second place.

The American Legion received 40 submissions from 14 entrants. One can imagine the process, digging through both alliterative and non-alliterative, rhyming and prose phrases.

Honorable mention included “Depend on Dickinson,” submitted by a Miss Lily Sherwood; “Second to none: Dickinson,” submitted by a Mr. J. M. Roberts; “Hole In One, Dickinson,” submitted by a Mr. John Kostelecky; “I’m hopping to Dickinson,” submitted by John Herringer; and finally an odd one that probably made more sense back then: “Hookem Cow, Dickinson,” submitted by Dr. C. L. T. Herbert.

These were interesting, but second place went to Cora Simpson of Bismarck. Her submission, “You’ll Like Dickinson,” got right to the point.

However, they wanted something short, and short is what they got for the winning slogan, sent in by 11-year-old Delmar Boulger of Dickinson – “Dickinson Does.”

So it was in early November 1926, the winner was announced and advertisements with the winning slogan were already being developed, and it became the American Legion’s aim to use the slogan promoting the convention and to encourage its adoption by businesses in the city as a permanent slogan.

However, in recognition of Dickinson as a gateway to the great American West, including Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, it’s modern nickname has become “The Western Edge.”

Dakota Datebook by Sarah Walker

Sources:
The Dickinson Press, October 9, 1925
The Dickinson Press, November 6, 1925