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Dr. Steve Hoffbeck

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • If you are of a certain age, you may remember the value of a silver dollar, and you might recall its size and its heft – almost a full ounce of real silver. Most people today most likely remember non-silver Eisenhower dollars or the Susan B. Anthony or Sacagawea dollars from recent years, but old, real-silver dollars evoke special memories for some.
  • In 1946, Enderlin made history when townspeople elected Agnes Geelan as mayor, making her the first female mayor of an incorporated town in North Dakota.
  • Whynot was the name of a general store and post office from the 1880s through the 1940s. It originated in the creative brain of Erik K. Larsgaard, a Norwegian immigrant, who came to America in 1881.
  • When you think about clothes and fabrics, you might think about natural materials, like cotton, wool, or silk. But if you really think about it, your clothes closet also has synthetic fabrics: polyester shirts; Spandex biking shorts, nylon stockings and more.
  • Today we examine a buried-treasure legend from the countryside near the town of Hebron -- or maybe Glen Ullin, sometimes it is hard to tell about the whereabouts of something that was utterly lost.
  • North Dakota sent many of its sons to fight in World War I. Some called it the “War to End All Wars,” though it was not. In the spirit of patriotism, young men across the state joined the military to help win the “Great War.” The recruits, 31,269 in number, came from all corners of the state.
  • When you see an eagle soaring on high in the skies, you might marvel at its magnificent size, with a wingspan seven-feet-wide. You might admire the bald-eagle’s snow-white head and tail gleaming in contrast with its chocolate-colored wings and body. You might visualize an eagle’s claws or its pointed beak that rips and tears its victims into bite-sized pieces. Eagles truly are legendary as birds of prey.
  • On this date, in 1965, a newspaper article reported the main characteristics of burrowing owls, noting that they are among the “few bird species to nest in burrows in the ground.”
  • On this date, in 1920, a newspaper advertisement touted the virtues of Huiskamp’s “Barn Yard Shoe” and Huiskamp’s Barnyard Shoe Oil. These work-shoes, according to a 1913 advertisement in Valley City, were manure-proof and ammonia proof; guaranteed “not to rot or crack-through from barnyard service.”
  • In our state, as elsewhere, there are internationalists who believe the U.S. should be deeply involved in foreign affairs; and isolationists, who do not believe the U.S. should be heavily involved with nations that don’t want anyone telling them what to do. In the 1930s, the prevailing mood was isolationist – that the U.S. should not intervene as the winds of war swept over Europe and Asia.