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Mother’s Day in North Dakota

Mother’s Day means different things to different folks. Families celebrate it on the second Sunday in May, usually around this time. Cards, flowers and a good meal are traditional. The pages of North Dakota’s local history books tell of many Mother’s Days.

Starting in 1959, the men’s fellowship of the First Congregational Church in Hillsboro presented flowers to mothers on Mother’s Day, along with bibles to confirmands, and served an annual Mother’s Day meal. The Hillsboro Knights of Columbus major social event in the 1940s and ‘50s was its Mother’s Day banquet.

For mothers who lost sons in World War II and the Korean War, Lakota’s American Legion Auxiliary No. 21 for years honored them with a tea held before Mother’s Day.

North Dakota’s famous Million Dollar Band, of the 116th Engineers, 41st Division, represented American bands at the first Mother’s Day celebration in Paris in 1918.

In the Stirum area, Members of a homemakers club honored mothers at the club’s 25th anniversary event in 1974 with a Mother’s Day song. The event also included tea, a style show, a hat show and more music.

For many years, students in Gardner held a Mother’s Day program and a lunch, and gave each mother a carnation.

The Helping Hand Club organized in the Grenora area in 1921. It raised more than $15,000 in its first 45 years from teas, ice cream socials, quilt sales, and lunches at farm sales and annual meetings. They used the donations in many ways, including flowers for retired club members on Mother’s Day.

An Edmore woman opened a café on Mother’s Day in 1956.

In Lansford, Mable’s Café held a Mother’s Day dinner in 1949 for $1.25 a plate.

Mother’s Day coincides with another observance in North Dakota: the time of year when the state lifts seasonal load restrictions meant to reduce damage to highways.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura

Edmore, N.D. and Countryside: Tales Beyond ‘No Man’s Land,’ 1901-2001
Gardner Centennial, 1882-1982
Grenora, North Dakota, Golden Jubilee, 1916-1966
Hillsboro, North Dakota: The First Hundred Years
Lakota…100 Year: 1883-1983
Reflections of Lansford, North Dakota and Community: “Heart of the Mouse River Loop”
Stirum Diamond Jubilee 1907-1982

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