Today in North Dakota History

January 1, 1874

Publication of first issue of the Fargo Express, first newspaper in the Red River Valley and second newspaper in North Dakota.

January 1, 1863

Surveyed lands of Dakota Territory were opened to homestead entry.

January 4, 1873

Bottineau County created by act of Territorial legislature; named for Pierre Bottineau, credited by Lounsberry with being first white child born in N. D., in about 1812.

January 4, 1873

Territorial legislature approved formation of Grand Forks County Commission.

January 5, 1859

The Anson Northrop, the first Red River steamboat, started a trip from Fort Abercrombie to Winnipeg.

January 7, 1891

Andrew H. Burke inaugurated as second governor of North Dakota.

January 7, 1935

Thomas H. Moodie, Democrat, was inaugurated as North Dakota's 19th governor. He was the state's third chief executive in seven months.

January 12, 1921

Grand Forks Kiwanis Club became first chartered Kiwanis Club in North Dakota.

January 26, 1855

Post office established at St. Joseph (now Walhalla) with Charles Grant as postmaster. Was first post office in what became Dakota Territory.

February 1, 1941

Dr. Wilson M. Laird became North Dakota's state geologist, succeeding Frank C. Feley.

February 2, 1935

The North Dakota supreme Court declared Governor Thomas H. Moodie ineligible for remaining in office, due to prior residence. Lieutenant Governor Walter Welford, Nonpartisan League, became governor; he is the fourth governor in an eight-month period.

February 11, 1805

Birth date of Baptiste Charbonneau, son of the Lewis and Clark interpreter and Sakakawea, who played an important role in the journey of exploration. Baptiste was taken to Europe in 1823 by Prince Paul of Wuerttemberg and received a classical education. Later, on return to America, he engaged in the fur trade as trapper, trader and guide.

February 14, 1917

First Infantry Regiment, N.D. National Guard, mustered out of federal service at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, following service on Mexican Border.

February 16, 1930

Deepest oil well in North Dakota drilled to 15,135 feet in McKenzie County. Amerada Petroleum Corp. -- Antelope Al located at Lot 13, Section 152-95.

February 18, 1913

Legislature ratifies 17th Amendment to U.S. Constitution, providing for popular election of U.S. senators.

February 22, 1881

Grand Forks was incorporated as a city, by act of the territorial legislature, with W. H. Brown as the first mayor.

February 22, 1902

Varsity Bachelor Club at University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, organized by "ten turned-down, heart-pierced young men."

February 22, 1889

Congress passed the Enabling Act, laying the groundwork for the entry of North Dakota and South Dakota into the Union, along with Montana and Washington.

February 25, 1891

Wahpeton selected as site for Red River Valley University; later moved to Grand Forks as Wesley College.

February 27, 1883

Founders Day for the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, the day on which Governor Nehemiah Ordway signed the organic act into law.

February 27, 1891

Bill creating State Soldiers Home at Lisbon signed into law by Governor Andrew H. Burke.

March 1, 1934

Governor William Langer was relieved as chief of the North Dakota federal relief setup by Harry L. Hopkins because "information received by the administration indicated that political contributions were collected from employees of the relief administration in North Dakota."

March 2, 1861

Dakota Territory, which then included what is now both Dakotas, northern Montana and Idaho, organized with capital at Yankton. President Abraham Lincoln named Dr. William Jayne as territorial governor.

March 2, 1895

Fort Lincoln established at Bismarck, the second military post to be so designated. The two sites are on opposite sides of the Missouri River, the first south of Mandan, the second south of Bismarck.

March 3, 1853

Congress appropriated $150,000 for exploration of best railroad routes from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

March 3, 1857

Fort Abercrombie, 12 miles north of Wahpeton, became the first regular military post to be established in present North Dakota.

March 3, 1963

North Dakota Legislature imposed one cent a gallon tax on gasoline, yielding $179,000 in first year -- or less than five days collection at the 1963 six-cent-a-gallon rate.

March 3, 1945

Senator John Moses died in office after serving in the U.S. Senate for two months.

March 6, 1919

Soldiers bonus bill ("Returned Soldiers Fund") enacted.

March 8, 1883

Towner County formed from parts of Cavalier and Rolette Counties and named for Colonel O. M. Towner, founder of Elk Valley Farm.

March 10, 1880

The railroad reached Grand Forks, the first train being a combination of a work and immigrant train.

March 12, 1802

The first non-Indian child in what was to become North Dakota, a girl, was born to Pierre Bonza and his wife. They were black, employed at Alexander Henry Jr.'s trading post in Pembina.

March 12, 1945

Governor Fred Aandahl appoints State Senator Milton R. Young to fill the U.S. Senate seat that was open following the death of Senator John Moses nine days earlier.

March 15, 1941

Ninety persons killed by Red River Valley blizzard in most disastrous storm in area's history.

March 16, 1920

Recall Amendment ratified, allowing citizens to petition for an election to have elected state officials recalled from office.

March 16, 1920

Hiram Johnson of California and William Jennings Bryan won Republican and Democratic presidential preference primaries, respectively.

March 17, 1862

First territorial assembly convened at Yankton.

March 19, 1907

Legislature adopted primary election law to provide that "political parties shall make nominations of candidates for all public offices by popular vote."

March 19, 1912

First presidential preference primary held in North Dakota with Senator LaFellette getting 34,123 votes, Theodore Roosevelt, 23,669, and William Howard Taft, 1,876.

March 20, 1916

William Jayne, first governor of Dakota Territory, died in Springfield, Illinois.

March 26, 1955

100 Native Americans on Fort Berthold Reservation receive $4,126,000 as their share of oil lease bonuses.

March 27, 1942

U.S. Senate voted 52-30 to seat William Langer "without prejudice" despite 13-3 report by its committee on Elections and Privileges that he should be denied seat because of charges of moral turpitude filed against him at beginning of his term.

April 1, 1925

Sale of cigarettes became legal in North Dakota under tax legislation adopted by 1925 Legislature.

April 1, 1875

The "Manitoba," queen of Red River steamboats, set a record of 45 hours from Moorhead to Winnipeg on her maiden voyage.

April 3, 1953

American Oil Co. holds groundbreaking ceremony at site of Mandan Refinery, two years after discovery of oil in state, giving a major boost to industry's growth.

April 4, 1951

Oil discovered on Clarence Everson farm near Tioga, making North Dakota the 27th in the U.S. with commercial production. This is N.D.'s first oil well.

April 4, 1950

Seven years after first oil discovery in North Dakota, Amerada Petroleum also brought in the state's 100th producing well.

April 7, 1805

After spending the winter at Fort Mandan, on the banks of the Missouri near present-day Washburn, the Lewis and Clark party of exploration resumed its journey to the West.

April 8, 1953

Bones of Sitting Bull spirited from original grave at Fort Yates and reburied under tons of cement near Mobridge, South Dakota.

April 11, 1877

The first Bismarck-Deadwood stagecoach left Bismarck for the gold boom town in the Black Hills. One-way fare: $23.