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Spring Has Sprung – Almost


On this date in 1935, the high temperature for Fargo was predicted to be 26 degrees with 25 mile an hour winds. But even though it was over a month until Easter, spring was on the minds of North Dakotans. Across the state in Williston, the high was 30 with a warming trend The weather report anticipated only a trace of snow with increasingly mild temperatures. Streets and roads in many places in the state were icy after a period of thawing and freezing, but no serious traffic problems were anticipated. Spring was in the air.

Shops were also in the mood for spring. The ads reflected the improving weather. Fargo’s Sears Roebuck and Company advertised “smart spring dresses.” The ad boasted that “Every little lady, can have gobs of fresh, cleverly styled washable frocks.” The dresses were 49 cents each for size 7 to 14 years. Other styles were 69 cents each. Mothers were urged to buy lots of the dresses for school and dress-up. Winter coats were on clearance for $1.99.

A.L. Moody’s was also in a spring mood. Their ad noted that “March may be a lion or a lamb.” The store offered lady’s knit dresses which could be worn under a coat “when March winds roar” or worn on their own “when spring is in the air.” Pastels and two-color combinations were offered for $7.95 each.

Herbst Department store focused on spring cleaning. Spring was the time for new sheets at 84 cents each, ordinarily offered at $1.39. It was noted that the taped edge was 25% stronger than ordinary sheets. Ruffled curtains were sure to brighten the home for spring. Half-length curtains had to be “seen to be appreciated.” Daintily ruffled and in a large selection of colors, the curtains, a $1.00 value, were 15 cents each. The store also advertised their spring fashion show, coming up the following week and featuring suits, dresses and sweaters for spring, displayed by live models.

North Dakotans seem to take pride in an ability to withstand harsh winter. There is a tendency to laugh off below zero temperatures and gale-force winds. But spring is just around the corner, and that is not a bad thing.

Dakota Datebook written by Carole Butcher


Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. “Fair, Warmer Weather in Sight for Tonight.” “Weather.” Ads. 11 March, 1935.