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September 26: Newspaper Tidbits in 1943

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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.

Another ad offered DeWitt’s kidney pills in the 50-cent size at the bargain price of thirty-nine cents.

In the newspaper’s entertainment section was an array of movies. “You’ll wish you were in Dixie!” promised the latest new feature at the Fargo Theatre. Dixie, starred Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. It promised “12 great song hits!”

The Roxy Theatre was showing Invisible Agent accompanied by news and a comedy.

At the State Theatre, Frederic March and Veronica Lake could be seen in I Married a Witch. And at the Moorhead Theatre, Laurel and Hardy were starring in Air Raid Wardens.

Cowboy star Wild Bill Elliott was on the screen at Fargo’s Princess Theatre with his frequent sidekick, Gabby Hayes. The two Western stars were in The Man from Thunder River. The ad promised “Two fisted Bill and his old pard, Gabby, ready for action again!” Wild Bill Elliott was a popular cowboy star for two decades, and for 15 years was listed as by the Motion Pictures Herald as one of the Top Ten Western stars. Locally, Wild Bill holds a particular relationship to Fargo for his 1952 film, a cowpoke shoot-em-up titled Fargo, set in Dakota Territory. Very occasionally it has shown up on television. The black and white film also features Phyllis Coates who trivia fans might know as the original Lois Lane in the Superman television program. Miss Coates left the show after the first season, replaced by Noel Neal. The poster for Wild Bill Elliott’s “Fargo” would be quite a keepsake!

Compiled by Steve Stark

Sources:

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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