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July 4: Celebrations and Storms

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It’s the Fourth of July, and on this date in Minot in 1907, the independence festivities were well underway. It was the midpoint of a five-day horse race, and large crowds were in attendance.

Simultaneously, the Cash Carnival Company was in town. This was reported as “one of the first aggregations of the kind that ever exhibited in Minot.” With a mixture of free and paid attractions, there was something for everyone. The Ward County Independent noted especially “the man who makes the high dive from on top of the seventy-foot ladder” ... “as well as the lady who does the trapeze work” were daring, dangerous, and free-to-watch acts.

The city also held a parade. Five bands would march, as did Minot Fire Department and the soldiers of Company D “in full uniform.”

There were also Baseball games planned for morning and afternoon, and dances in the evening. The Ward County Independent noted, “Minot is about the only city of the Northwest that will attempt a Fourth of July celebration of any kind, and the crowds will be very large. Many wish to come here to witness the great improvements which had been made during the past year or two and it will be a splendid opportunity to greet your friends. Don’t make a mistake by staying away.”

However, the festivities hit a snag that evening as the weather turned. Southwest of Minot, a tornado was reported, tracing nearly the same path of a storm that had passed through earlier that year. The new storm damaged a new barn, sheds and others buildings. The high ladder from the carnival act was damaged, as were other items related to the show.

Other parts of the county also felt the sting of the storm. An elevator was blown off its foundation at Aurelia, a town three miles south of Donnybrook. Other buildings were also damaged, with reports of the storm’s impact stretching as far as Kermit, in Divide County.

No deaths occurred, and while it wasn’t exactly fireworks, the storm certainly provided a natural spectacle on that night of that busy Fourth of July.

Dakota Datebook by Sarah Walker


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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