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Jack Dura

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • One of the most inspiring Americans of the 20th century visited Fargo on this date in 1914. Helen Keller, who was left blind and deaf from sickness as a small child, spoke at First Methodist Church with her teacher and longtime companion, Anne Sullivan. They were lifelong friends.
  • Few critters in North Dakota might be as storied as the black-footed ferret – an endangered and mischievous species. Poisonings targeting prairie dogs led to the ferret’s demise in the early 20th century, and it was thought to be extinct until a small group was found in Wyoming in 1981. The ferret’s comeback through captive breeding has been decades in the making.
  • For decades, North Dakota’s Legislature had only one way to vote on bills: roll calls of the many lawmakers. That time-consuming method changed with the installation of an electric voting machine in 1947.
  • Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is a sampling of how North Dakotans have celebrated the day in the past.
  • Christmas is soon upon us. Here is a walk-through of how people once celebrated the holiday in North Dakota.
  • The many windows of the North Dakota Capitol make the tower a unique canvas for lighted designs. One of the first was a cross at Easter in 1934. Over the years, one of the most popular designs has been a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree window design dates back to the building’s earliest years, during the Great Depression.
  • Life on the prairie can be adventurous and harrowing. Two newspaper anecdotes about a Raleigh, North Dakota rancher might seem straight out of the 1880s rather than the 1960s, except for the helicopter.
  • Thanksgiving is this week. Today we take a glimpse at the holiday from long ago.
  • Bismarck experienced several strange events during this week in 1933, including a burning cross, ferocious winds, and drive-by gunshots at a cafe.
  • Two North Dakota political giants died hours apart, decades after their parallel rises to power during a remarkable period in state history.