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Russell Ford-Dunker

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • 7/19/2008: In July of 1891 hundreds of people from all over the new state of North Dakota gathered at a place called Dana’s Grove—three miles east of Devil’s Lake.
  • 9/23/2006: On this day 200 years ago, Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery, with representatives of the Mandan nation, arrived at St. Louis. The historic expedition was officially over. From the time they had left Camp Dubois (across the Mississippi River from St. Louis) in May of 1804, to their return on September 23, 1806, they had logged more than 8,000 miles, and opened a door to the West that could not be shut.
  • 8/26/2006: On this day in 1927, the celebrated American aviator Charles Lindberg flew into Fargo in The Spirit of St. Louis. The visit was just three months after the historic solo flight from New York to Paris made him a super-hero.
  • 7/4/2006: On July 4th, 1776, the unofficial flag of the new united states of America had the familiar red and white stripes, but no stars. There was a British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner. It was called the Grand Union Flag. Within a year, Congress passed the Flag Resolution of June 14, 1777, calling for “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white,” and replacing the British symbolism with “thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The “Stars and Stripes” became the official flag of the new nation.
  • 6/13/2006: Three of the smallest counties in North Dakota are found in a neat horizontal row in the east-central part of the state, sandwiched between Cass and Barnes counties on the south, and Grand Forks and Nelson counties on the North. From east to west, starting at the Red River, they are Traill, Steele, and Griggs counties. The threesome is easy to spot on a television weather map. Prior to June of 1883, the same area contained just two counties—Traill and Griggs.
  • 5/29/2006: Great Plains dwellers have been moving great big things from one place to another for a long time--things like teepees, claim shanties, railroad depots, barns, and even grain elevators. At times whole towns were moved to new locations when anticipated rail lines failed to materialize. In recent years, many a historic home has been moved out of harms way—be it rising water, the wheels of “progress,” or the wrecking ball.
  • 5/19/2006: Today is the 80h birthday of former United States Senator Mark Andrews, who represented North Dakota as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years and in the Senate for six. In total, he served in Congress for 24 years, paralleling the presidencies of Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan.
  • 5/15/2006: On this day in 1909, people all across the state of North Dakota experienced a rare sensation for these parts—an earthquake.
  • 5/11/2006: In an obvious reference to Thomas Wolfe’s autobiographical novel "You Can’t Go Home Again," Collier’s magazine published an introspective article written by North Dakota native Eric Sevareid, entitled “You Can Go Home Again,” 50 years ago today—May 11, 1956.
  • 4/17/2006: On this day in 1933, the Governor of North Dakota sent out North Dakota National Guard troops to prevent an agency of the Federal government from carrying out its business in the state. Not surprisingly, the Feds were not pleased, and took some immediate countermeasures, striking back where it hurts—in the pocketbook. The Marines were not needed.