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Jayme L. Job

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • 2/23/2015: President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Hughes Act into law on this day in 1917. This was the first national vocational education act, and it established state boards of vocational education be created in order to appropriate funds received by the federal government. The act came about partly in response to the pressures concerning the nation’s food supply as a result of the breakout of World War I. And although the act stresses the creation of agricultural curriculum in the nation’s schools, it also led to the creation of home economics programs.
  • 11/13/2014: A woman of Plaza, North Dakota was reported to have received quite a shock on this day in 1913. The woman, Mrs. Hendricks, learned that her husband had been spotted in Minot, North Dakota after eight months of absence. Gust Hendricks had not been seen since last spring, and his anxious wife had reported the man missing since his disappearance.
  • 11/10/2014: In August of 1898, Justice Guy Corliss of the North Dakota Supreme Court surprised nearly everyone when he resigned after nearly nine years on the bench. Having been elected as the youngest of the three original justices to the court, the young Corliss had just celebrated his fortieth birthday. When asked why he was resigning, he simply answered that he wished to start a North Dakota law school. The following year, with the help of UND president Webster Merrifield, Justice Corliss became the first dean of the UND School of Law in Grand Forks.
  • 10/9/2014: The post-Civil War era in America was a time of reform. In addition to movements dealing with suffrage, labor, and temperance, many “…idealistic reformers turned their attention to the plight of Indian people,” or more specifically, to Indian children. In 1879, Captain Richard Henry Pratt opened the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, the first assimilation school for Native Americans. For the next fifty years, assimilation persisted as the national policy for Indian education. Children were removed from their homes and placed into distant boarding schools where they were forced to give up native dress and beliefs – taught Christianity and white American values in their place.
  • 7/31/2014: In early June of 1892, the Canadian Pacific steamer Empress of Japan sailed up the Portage Inlet and into the harbor of Victoria, British Columbia. The ship had sailed east from Japan, transporting mail and cargo. Once docked, around 150 Chinese and Japanese crew members disembarked, anxious to explore the city. One of the main attractions Victoria held for the sailors was Dupont Street, where the city’s prostitutes plied their trade. Two weeks later, after the Empress had departed, Victorians began to drop. Smallpox had come to their city.
  • 7/3/2014: Among the earliest settlers to Dakota Territory, few women have become celebrated or remembered for their efforts, despite the enormity of their contributions and sacrifice. While the names of men litter the early histories of the state, it is rare to encounter accounts written by or about early women of the plains. One woman, however, who has made an indelible print upon the history of North Dakota is Linda Warfel Slaughter, a woman remembered through her extensive writings and reports on the early state of the territory.
  • 6/16/2014: Located near the present-day International Peace Garden, the North Dakota town of Dunseith is named for a Gaelic word meaning “city of peace” – although there have certainly been times in the city’s history when peace was in short supply. June of 1893 was just such a time, when a mysterious cowboy appeared in the small town and caused quite a bit of trouble.
  • 5/13/2014: In the 1930s, dust began to settle across much of the Great Plains. Although much of the blame for the coming Dust Bowl would be laid at the feet of the nation’s farmers, ranchers were also suspect. Ranchers had “enacted decades of rangeland deterioration” on unprotected federal lands. Free and unregulated access also inspired violent disagreements between ranchers, as each fought to maintain control of water and land resources. Infamous range wars served as bloody reminders to ranching families just how precarious land rights in the country had become.
  • 5/2/2014: Long before the Internet and online blogging, there was amateur journalism, a hobby that began shortly after the American Civil War with the availability of small and inexpensive printing presses. Amateur journalists published and circulated their own newspapers, and sometimes books. They formed associations and held conventions. Similar to the Paris salons of the 18th and early 19th centuries, they also gathered informally with other writers to exchange ideas and information. In the late 19th century, one of the leading amateur journalists of the day was living in Fargo, North Dakota.
  • 1/22/2014: A kidnapping report that had put the city of Fargo into a frenzy was retracted on this day in 1928. On January 19, eighteen-year old Esther Monson was found lying unconscious on a sidewalk in downtown Fargo.