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Tessa Sandstrom

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • It was a wild shootout at Fort William. A family rivalry brewing for years had finally exploded into a full-blown war, and it all started on this date in 1834.
  • Five thousand Indians of the Sioux nation gathered in 1888 for discussions on a treaty that would open up land in the Standing Rock reservation for non-native settlement. The government was represented by three commissioners who needed three-quarters of all adult Lakota males to approve the treaty. Today marked the eleventh day of discussions, and the commissioners had yet to gather a single signature.
  • Before the Garrison Dam was built, the Missouri was a wily river. Its greedy undercurrents had proven treacherous on several occasions. On this date in 1955, painter Donald Ryland of New Town was working 135 feet above the river on the Four Bears Bridge when he lost his balance reaching for a paint stick. He managed to grab a steel beam, but before others could reach him, he lost his grip and fell into the rising reservoir.
  • 11/26/????: “There’s no place like home,” was a line made famous by Dorothy in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. Four years later, there were 1,500 people who could relate to that line, but they didn’t get home with red slippers. They were aboard the Gripsholm Ship.
  • 1/1/2015: It’s New Year’s Day and according to tradition, that means it’s time to make resolutions that you promise to keep. For North Dakota ranchers in 1944, however, it wasn’t resolutions they were worried about keeping on New Year’s Day, but their brands.
  • 8/1/2013: As the men of North Dakota rushed off to Europe to aid in the battles of World War Two, others were needed in Ramsey County to help in that year’s harvest. Today in 1944, The Devil’s Lake World reported on two groups that did just that.
  • 10/23/2009: Erick Lien of Union, North Dakota arrived in Minot today in 1908, but his visit was not under happy circumstances. Lien was coming to inspect the cause of his daughter Gina's death on October 5. Officials had already been investigating the case, and suspected her doctor, Dr. Moeller of malpractice.
  • 12/16/2008: What do James Russell Lowell, Edward Greenleaf Whittier and Longfellow all have in common? Apart from being renowned poets, they all had the pleasure of sharing company with Wild - no, not playwright Oscar Wilde - but Wild Rose, also known as Anna Dawson, a young Boston socialite and a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes who would later become an activist during the relocation for the Garrison Dam.
  • 11/30/2008: °Joe the Plumber° and the °Bridge to Nowhere°—they’re two of the new clichés we heard throughout this election year.
  • 11/4/2008: Today is Election Day and no doubt it promises to be a historic one. No matter what the outcome, it will mark a first for America, whether it is Sen. Barack Obama elected as the first African-American to the White House, or Gov. Sarah Palin as the first woman. And, this election also promises to bring out record numbers of voters. After all, it’s our duty as citizens in a democratic government, right? … Right?