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Steve Stark

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • Today we take another look at the typical newspaper content years past. On this date in 1943, the Fargo Forum carried a full-page ad from Osco Drug headlined “Make up your back-to-school shopping list!” It touted lead pencils with rubber erasers on sale for a penny each. A composition book was priced at four cents, sixty sheets of typing paper just seven cents, and a package of Crayola crayons were only eight cents a package.
  • By September 1943, residents in the Red River Valley and across North Dakota had become accustomed to their lives during wartime. The Fargo Forum newspaper featured a daily reminder of the costs of WWII battles as well as activities on and off the war front.
  • In the summer of 1910, former president Theodore Roosevelt was still making headlines in the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican newspaper. Roosevelt had been on page one in June as the paper recorded his interaction with passengers at sea off the coast of Ireland as he began his return after a triumphal tour of Europe.
  • This week in 1974 brought a sudden change in Vice President Gerald Ford’s schedule when he abruptly cancelled a 12-day political excursion. The reason soon became apparent. The news leaked out, and a three-inch-high headline on the front page of The Fargo Forum screamed “Nixon to Quit!”
  • The introduction of television in the fifties changed the way Americans spent time in their homes. While TV entertainment was a leap forward from the earlier fascination of radio, viewers were often familiar with personalities who had been successful on radio, or even earlier in vaudeville acts.
  • This week in 1915, the paper’s “Northwest Gleanings” section chronicled events from around the state. One of Fargo’s early newspapers was the Fargo Daily Courier-News. In the upper left-hand corner of the paper, it touted Fargo as “The Gate City of North Dakota.”
  • The morning edition of the Fargo Forum on June 26, 1957, continued the harrowing news of the massive tornado that struck the city. The banner headline of the newspaper trumpeted “Red Cross Says At Least $250,000 Needed for Tornado Victims Here.”
  • 4/5/2017: Rivers figure prominently in our history and culture. We can conjure images of Lewis & Clark exploring the Missouri, and the riverboat “Yellowstone” as the first steamboat on the upper Missouri.
  • June 6, 1944 is singular for the most memorable and significant event in the heritage of nations. In United States and world history, the day will always be known as D-Day.
  • 4/23/2013: North Dakota was poised to play a game of chance and change on this date in 1977. “Bingo – It’s legal in North Dakota” read the lead sentence of The Forum in Fargo. As Saturday began at the stroke of 12 AM, legal charity gambling began for the first time in North Dakota’s history.