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Lightless Nights


World War I was at an end, but the shortages it created were slow to recover. Anthracite coal and oil were two of these commodities. On October 23, 1918, Order #16 was issued by Isaac P. Baker, Federal Fuel Administrator of North Dakota. This mandated that all stores must close by six o’clock to conserve coal and petroleum used for heat and electricity. The ban would affect all merchants and businesses except dairy farmers. Additionally, Order #17 was issued on November 13th, which required each household to observe one Lightless Night per week.

On this date, both of these orders were rescinded. However, fuel supplies were still limited, and North Dakotans were reminded to conserve. With winter fast approaching, a lack of fuel could create widespread suffering.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Minot Daily News November 16, 1918; December 2, 1918