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Our over-the-air radio signal in the Bismarck area is down as a tower crew repairs damage from an ice storm last April. The outage should last a few days.

Dr. Steve Hoffbeck

  • Today we examine a buried-treasure legend from the countryside near the town of Hebron -- or maybe Glen Ullin, sometimes it is hard to tell about the whereabouts of something that was utterly lost.
  • North Dakota sent many of its sons to fight in World War I. Some called it the “War to End All Wars,” though it was not. In the spirit of patriotism, young men across the state joined the military to help win the “Great War.” The recruits, 31,269 in number, came from all corners of the state.
  • When you see an eagle soaring on high in the skies, you might marvel at its magnificent size, with a wingspan seven-feet-wide. You might admire the bald-eagle’s snow-white head and tail gleaming in contrast with its chocolate-colored wings and body. You might visualize an eagle’s claws or its pointed beak that rips and tears its victims into bite-sized pieces. Eagles truly are legendary as birds of prey.
  • On this date, in 1965, a newspaper article reported the main characteristics of burrowing owls, noting that they are among the “few bird species to nest in burrows in the ground.”
  • On this date, in 1920, a newspaper advertisement touted the virtues of Huiskamp’s “Barn Yard Shoe” and Huiskamp’s Barnyard Shoe Oil. These work-shoes, according to a 1913 advertisement in Valley City, were manure-proof and ammonia proof; guaranteed “not to rot or crack-through from barnyard service.”
  • In our state, as elsewhere, there are internationalists who believe the U.S. should be deeply involved in foreign affairs; and isolationists, who do not believe the U.S. should be heavily involved with nations that don’t want anyone telling them what to do. In the 1930s, the prevailing mood was isolationist – that the U.S. should not intervene as the winds of war swept over Europe and Asia.
  • June is arguably the best month of summer for fishing and for “going to the lake.” Many North Dakotans flock to home-state lakes – Sakakawea, Lake Darling, Spiritwood, Stump, Metigoshe. Folks near the Red River often head into Minnesota. It was on this date, in 1889, that the Bismarck Tribune related some of the happenings on Big Detroit Lake, when North Dakotans were in a whirl of lakeshore fun, jam-packed with boating, relaxation, bathing and angling.
  • Anyone who has ever played trombone or saxophone or tuba in a high school concert band knows the worth of making beautiful music in harmony with their band-mates. In Devils Lake, about 100 years ago, a “famous band” arose. This band, known as the Devils Lake Boy Concert Band, played throughout the region, from Bismarck to Bemidji; northward to Winnipeg, and westward to Montana.
  • How many times have you seen the Northern Lights in the nighttime sky? It has been reported that it was more common to see the them in North Dakota back in the 1880s. For example, on this date in 1887, the Griggs County [Cooperstown] Courier reported: “The aurora borealis or northern lights were beautifully visible in the northern skies on Monday night.”
  • When motorists drive along U.S. Highway 2 in Grand Forks, they may see flowing clouds of steam rising from a factory. The steamy clouds carry an aroma of cooked potatoes. What magic is happening behind those factory walls?