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1st Baby and Kent Conrad


On this day in 1802, the first non-Native American child in what is now North Dakota was born. The baby girl was born to Pierre Bonza and his wife, black slaves of Alexander Henry, Jr. The birth took place at Henry’s Pembina fur-trading post.

Senator Kent Conrad’s birthday was yesterday, also. He was born in Bismarck in 1948, and his history as a senator is an interesting one. In 1986, he defeated long-time Republican incumbent, Mark Andrews, for a seat in the senate, but in 1992, Conrad chose not to run for reelection.

Then, in September of that year, another long-time senator, Quentin Burdick, died in office. Burdick’s seat was temporarily given to his wife, but a special election was needed to fill the rest of Burdick’s term. Conrad reversed his decision to run and won Burdick’s seat in November 1992. But because he was finishing his own term while simultaneously assuming another senate seat, Conrad had to resign from the senate in order to immediately return and start serving the term he had just won. Otherwise, he would have been holding both of North Dakota’s senate seats at the same time.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm