North Dakota

United War Fund

13 hours ago

Three days after the drive for the Fourth Liberty Loan began on September 28, 1918, the citizens of North Dakota had subscribed to $12 million of the state’s $19 million quota. But liberty loans involved redeemable bonds. Although the sale of bonds tied up personal finances, the money would eventually be returned with interest, and the end of the war appeared to be in sight.    

Sioux Pageant

Oct 3, 2018

On this date in 1913 a story on a ceremony at the Standing Rock reservation hailed the event as “The Most Magnificent History Pageant in the History of the Sioux.”  The pageant involved several thousand participants and spectators. The Standing Rock Band performed, as did many of the tribe’s warriors and dancers.

Making Mercer

Oct 2, 2018

North Dakota has a handful of counties that share a name with one of the state’s towns: Cavalier, Golden Valley, Adams, McKenzie, Bowman, Bottineau, Rolette, Hettinger, Pembina—and Mercer. The town of Mercer is a younger community in North Dakota, having sprung up along the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1905.

North Dakota has a long and unfortunate history of prairie fires. In 1804 Lewis and Clark recorded a prairie fire that resulted in fatalities. Clark wrote of several people “who could not get to any place of safety.” Lightning sometimes caused wildfires, but they were also caused by human activity. In 1805 the explorers noted that it was common for Indians to burn the prairie near their villages to benefit their ponies and the buffalo. But sometimes these fires got out of control, leaving destruction in their wake. The plains were especially vulnerable to fire in the fall, after the dry weather of summer and before fall rains came.

Artist Clell Gannon

Sep 28, 2018

The legacy of an accomplished North Dakota artist can still be seen in the Burleigh County Courthouse in Bismarck. Clell Gannon painted a number of murals in the courthouse vestibule, depicting scenes from North Dakota history, such as “Verendrye Meets the Mandans” and “The Sibley Campaign.” The courthouse is in Art Deco style, built during the same period as the state Capitol skyscraper.

Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame was a Stars and Stripes war correspondent during World War II. In this capacity Rooney became good friends with native North Dakotan, Raymond Check. Captain Check was a B-17 bomber pilot and was well liked by everyone who knew him. Check flew during a time in the war when a bomber tour was 25 missions, and in that many missions, the odds of being killed, wounded or shot down were high.

Forget-Me-Not Day

Sep 24, 2018

Supporting America’s troops has taken different forms throughout the years. The Great War was still in recent memory when various groups spread out throughout Bismarck-Mandan to sell handmade forget-me-nots to honor and support disabled American military veterans in 1937. On this date, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Governor Bill Langer had declared the following day as “Forget-Me-Not Day.”

The Great Depression of the 1930s did not feel so “great” to those suffering from unemployment, bank failures, or drought. The Depression was in full “3-D” – it was ‘Dire,’ ‘Disastrous,’ and “Dreadful.’  How did North Dakotans endure those Depression years from 1929 through 1940?

Here is one of those stories.

The Butterfly Effect

Sep 20, 2018

On this date in 1906, the Courier Democrat of Langdon, North Dakota reported on an unsettling and slightly alarming phenomena. A particular species of insect had appeared in “unprecedented numbers.” Concerned citizens were sending specimens to the North Dakota Agricultural College.  However, the colleges reported that there was no cause for concern. The mysterious insect was none other than the harmless monarch butterfly.

Letters from France

Sep 19, 2018

On this date in 1918, many North Dakota soldiers were serving their country in the War, and when they wrote home, it was common for the recipient to give the letter to the local newspaper, which would then print it, so everyone would know what was going on.