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sarah walker

Harvesting Crunch

Oct 22, 2019

In fall of 1912, the crops seemed bounteous. The Washburn Leader even published a long article by Professor Thomas Shaw, who noted that North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota had produced a crop that was larger and better than in the past two decades, with "conditions for growth, except in a few localities, … almost perfect."

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."

The SS Admiral Sampson was a cargo and passenger steamship built for the American Mail Steamship Company in 1898. In 1909 both the Sampson and her sister ship the Farragut were purchased by the Alaska Pacific Steamship Company. Based in San Francisco, they provided passenger and cargo service between that city and the Puget Sound and sometimes all the way to Alaska.

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.

In 1893, North Dakota joined the many other states that sent items to be displayed at the World's Fair in Chicago. There was needlework, maps, model tepees, Red River ox carts, and samples of wildlife preserved with taxidermy. Colonel Lounsberry, founder of the Bismarck Tribune, reported from Chicago on the many items, saying:

"In the Pembina room are some fine paintings done by Blanche Booker, only 12 years of age, and scattered through the building are many others. Among the paintings is one by a celebrated French artist for which the national government paid $5000 and loaned it to this exhibition upon the request of our senators. It represents a harvest scene on the Powers farm in Richland County."

Birth Registration

Aug 15, 2019

Birth certificates seem integral to us today, but it was a while for this relatively recent document became commonplace. While the state of North Dakota has birth records back into the early 1900s, and some even before then, not every birth was reported. There were a variety of reasons as to why — the area was not very populated; they didn’t know who to report the birth to; and women often gave birth at home, with the help of friends, families, midwives, and others, who did not follow through with any documentation.

Last week, listeners heard about the first Citizens' Military Training Camp in North Dakota, at Fort Lincoln in 1928. It was attended by 525 boys from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. On this date, they were settling in and making great use of the area.

Prior to World War I, several experimental, military-based training programs were established for young civilians. In 1915 and 1916, the graduates of these camps sparked the formation of the Military Training Camps Association. However, when the US entered World War I, the association suggested that any proposed civilian camps be converted for officers' training.

Sunday Baseball

Jul 18, 2019

Earlier this week, we heard about a 1909 trial in Jamestown that was the talk of the state as Folks involved with a baseball game had been put on trial for violating the Sunday Blues Laws, which, among other things, prohibited “public sports” on Sundays. The trial resulted in not-guilty verdict, and while the prohibition remained on the books, it wasn’t always respected.

On this date in 1909, passenger train No. 4 of the Great Northern Railway, mainly loaded with people returning from the World's Fair in Seattle, derailed four miles east of the at Tioga. While travel by train was frequent, and train accidents not uncommon, it was noteworthy that for such a great wreck, few injuries occurred for most of the people onboard. According to some of the men manning the train, the accident was caused by a track failure.