North Dakota is no stranger to visiting dignitaries. In addition to presidents and first ladies, foreign and royal officials have visited the Peace Garden State over the years. The Deuce of August celebration in Mountain, North Dakota, has drawn Icelandic officials, including the prime minister.
In 1926, Queen Marie of Romania was honored in Mandan as a Sister of the Sioux. She came here to meet with farm delegations as she travelled by train from Fargo to Medora then into Montana. Her Sioux name translated to “woman who was waited for.”
Norwegian royalty also has visited North Dakota. Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha took in a range of activities in the Red River Valley on this date in 1939. It was considered a special visit, given the large population of North Dakotans with Norwegian heritage. In Grand Forks, Olav addressed graduates at the University of North Dakota’s commencement. On the way to Fargo, he visited farms near Hatton and Gardner, and had a turkey meal with farmers. He laid a wreath at aviator Carl Ben Eielson’s grave in Hatton, and spoke briefly to crowds in Larimore, Northwood, Mayville and Hillsboro, speaking in both English and Norwegian.
Princess Martha took a train from Grand Forks to Fargo, where she arrived at 2 p.m. Local officials met her and took her to the home of former Governor L.B. Hanna, who hosted the royal couple for two days.
Prince Olav addressed graduates of Concordia College in Moorhead, praising the progress of Norwegian pioneers, saying, “The harmonious way in which the Norwegian pioneers and their descendants have entered into American life is no doubt the fact that we—you of America and we of Norway—fundamentally have so much in common. We share your love of personal liberty, of government of and by and for the people, your faith in free democratic institutions. We have not only the same colors in our flags, but also the same ideals in our hearts.”
Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura
The Billings Weekly Gazette. 1926, November 2. Page 1
The Evening Sun. 1939, June 7. Page 1
Minneapolis Star Tribune. 1939, June 9. Page 1