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Yuletide News in 1943

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News this week in 1943 was a mix of Yuletide and interesting moments. World War II was raging, yet everyday life continued. Today we share a number of the stories one would find in the paper that year.

Influenza cases from Fargo Public Schools indicated that 550 of the many students absent from school a week ago had returned to classes. Influenza was diminishing according to city health officer Dr. E.M. Watson.

On the campus of the “AC”, the North Dakota Agricultural College, later named NDSU, a commencement address was delivered at the Little Country Theatre for 10 mid-winter graduates. Captain William Hesse of the college’s Army administration school was the speaker. Deans of schools presenting candidates included professors who would eventually have campus buildings named in their honor. They were H.L. Walster, A.E. Minard, and R.M. Dolve.

In another story, a Bismarck, North Dakota physician asked the war production board for penicillin to treat a World War I veteran with a staphylococcus infection. The story noted that the request was telephoned to a doctor in Boston who was a War Production Board rationing officer.

Orville Wright was honored this week in 1943 at the age of 72. He and his late brother Wilbur were the historic pilots behind the marvel of flight that had changed the world forty years earlier. A Washington columnist sang the praises of the airplane in the same newspaper edition, writing: “It does not seem possible that the airplane is forty years old this week. Only youngsters accept the airplane as a routine part of the landscape. To the rest of us, and particularly to those born before this century, the airplane will always remain a new and wondrous thing.

“It has added horribly to the destructive power of war … yet even in war, the airplane is saving lives. We are just beginning to understand what the airplane can do constructively. Most important of all, in the long run, the airplane enables representatives of the nations to meet quickly, anywhere, anytime.”

Time flies. From the early 1940s to today.

Dakota Datebook by Steve Stark

Source: Fargo Forum, Dec. 17, 1943.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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