Bismarck | Prairie Public Broadcasting


As we heard last week, the first North Dakota Industrial Exposition was held in Bismarck in 1911. It was a smashing success, and plans were immediately made to repeat it the following year, and it was on this date in 1912 that the Second North Dakota Industrial Exposition opened in Bismarck. The expositions were designed to bring in out-of-state visitors and encourage investment in North Dakota. The state hoped for thousands of new settlers.

On this date in 1911, the city of Bismarck was bedecked in its finest as throngs of people attended the opening of North Dakota's first Industrial Exposition.  The Bismarck Tribune noted, "It was with no blare of trumpets nor sound of cymbals that the first Industrial Exposition opened its doors this afternoon, but with a quiet and gracefulness, delightful to behold, the machinery was set in motion, which will continue for twenty days."

On this date in 1933, citizens of North Dakota were prepping for a special statewide election.

The vote was on seven measures – two minor amendments to the constitution; three referred measures that involved insolvent banks, state sales tax, and a law providing for the removal of commissioners of the workman’s compensation bureau. There was also an initiated measure about the manufacture, sale, and distribution of beer; and another that would permit the operation of moving picture theaters on Sundays.

Justice Spalding

Sep 18, 2019

On this date in 1912, Burleigh Folsom Spalding arrived in Bismarck with his family and all their household goods. They moved into their rented house on the corner of 5th and Avenue B. The Spaldings intended to make Bismarck their permanent home.

A parade of national figures came together to lay the cornerstone for the new Dakota Territory Capitol in Bismarck on this date in 1883. They included Henry Villard, president of the Northern Pacific Railway; financier Jay Cooke; former President Ulysses Grant; Hunkpapa Lakota holy man Sitting Bull; and a German minister appearing for Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. More than 3,000 people attended the ceremony.

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is a local landmark in Bismarck, North Dakota. Its soaring white bell tower can be seen across town from a variety of directions.

Years of setbacks had delayed construction of the cathedral, which was built during World War II. The first bishop of Bismarck, Vincent Wehrle, bought land in Bismarck in 1917 on which to build the cathedral he had long dreamed of. Plans were drawn up within a few years, but construction was delayed due to the Great Depression. In 1940, the new Bishop Vincent Ryan got cracking on the plans. He hired William Kurke, who was an architect who helped design the new North Dakota Capitol in the 1930s. Kurke designed an Art Deco style cathedral of monolithic concrete. The decorations and accoutrements were expected to make it the most beautiful cathedral in North Dakota.

Anyone who has lived in North Dakota has probably wished they could change the weather at some point. For most of human history people have wanted to change the weather, and today some people do just that. Weather modifiers mainly work with clouds to increase precipitation, reduce hail, or disperse fog.

U-Mary nursing program ranks 1st in the nation

May 14, 2019

The nursing program at the University of Mary in Bismarck has been named number 1 in America.

Theodore Roosevelt’s only North Dakota visit while president came in April of 1903. His railroad excursion was a two-day event, packed east-to-west across the state with several stops. 

On this date in 1938, twenty Mandan Pioneer Daughters met with their Bismarck counterparts at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Bismarck. The Daughters consisted of women descended from pioneers who had settled in the area before North Dakota became a state. The women had a deep interest in history and wanted to preserve it for the future.