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Dakota Datebook

  • On this date in 1913, William McBain was arrested, following a complex series of events that stirred up much controversy in North Dakota. It all started two years earlier when William moved from his childhood home in Fessenden to Saskatoon, Canada for work. There, he fell in love with a girl named Margaret, who lived on the farm next door. Margaret held the same feelings for him, and one day ran away from home to go with William to his hometown of Fessenden.
  • On this date in 1926, the second annual corn show began in the Bismarck auditorium. The show had been the cause of much excitement for the past few months. Numerous advertisements in the papers had touted the event’s entertainment, speakers, and vendors. There was hope that most, if not all, of the 53 ND counties would be represented at the show, fully displaying their support for the event.
  • On November 3, 1882, the Bismarck Tribune posed an interesting question: “CONUNDRUM suggested by the late Grand Forks affair: If one man purposely and willfully kills another man, the killer is a murderer. If a number of men kill a man under the same conditions, what are they?”
  • On this date in 1832, George Catlin wrote to the New York Commercial Advertiser from the mouth of the Yellowstone River, saying: “The health and amusements of this delightful country render it almost painful for me to leave it. The atmosphere is so light and pure that nothing like fevers and epidemics has ever been known to prevail here – indeed it is proverbial here that a man cannot die unless he is killed by the Indians. If the Cholera should ever cross the Atlantic, what a secure, and at the same time delightful refuge this country would be for those who would be able to reach it.”
  • In 1984 president Ronald Reagan announced NASA’s newest program, the Teacher in Space Project. The program’s goal was to promote student interest in math, science, and space. Almost 11,000 teachers from across the country applied in the hopes of going into space on the shuttle Challenger. The applicants were narrowed down to two teachers per state and territory, and eventually to ten finalists.
  • Books were not widely available to the general public in the United States until the mid-1800s. In the 1700s, wealthy people with access to books hosted literary salons. These were events where the participants could discuss fiction and nonfiction literature.
  • Throughout the 1840s and 50s, Professor Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illinois College championed the idea of agricultural colleges. Illinois Senator Lyman…
  • During the Spanish-American War, the first battle involving Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders took place on June 24, 1898. Author Stephen Crane said…
  • In 1896, a revision in the North Dakota Century Code allowed that if a town furnished a building to store 100,000 pounds or more of wool for free from…
  • The Fargo newspaper headlines this week in 1957 concentrated on the devastating tornado that had leveled a large swath of the city only days before. An…