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This Week in Regional History

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Today we share a few nuggets of early November history.

It was this week in 1804 that the building began of the Winter encampment of the Lewis & Clark expedition at Fort Mandan in the territory that would later become North Dakota.

Now a valued episode in Dakota and American heritage, the Fort Mandan encampment was named for the Mandan Native Americans in the vicinity. While ensconced in the fort during a brutal winter, the corps would meet and welcome young Sacagawea, who would accompany west in the spring. Her husband Toussaint Charbonneau would also become a member of the corps.

This week in 1882, Devils Lake welcomed steamboat captain E.E. Heerman. Heerman would build the famous steamboat the Minnie H, launched on the lake the following year. Devils Lake still honors the steamboat that traveled the waters until 1908.

This week in 1894 the University of North Dakota inaugurated a new collegiate sport: football. The first game was against a future key rival: The North Dakota Agricultural College, later renamed North Dakota State University. The Fargo Forum reported that the “Aggies” won that first game 20 to 4. But the win was not without controversy. UND protested use of a professor it called a professional.

This week in 1914, the first United State Senator from North Dakota, A.J. Gronna, was elected by popular vote.

Also on this week in 1914, North Dakota voters turned down the Women’s Suffrage Act in a referendum approved by the previous year’s legislature. North Dakotan women would have to wait for another six years before achieving full voting privileges.

The movies playing at area theatres this week in 1988 included Gorillas in the Mist, Alien Nation, Cocktail, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Young Guns, The Accused, The Great Outdoors, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Big, Die Hard, Eight Men Out and Halloween IV.

Dakota Datebook by Steve Stark

Sources: The Forum of Fargo Moorhead, Nov. 3, 1988

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