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Marilyn Hagerty

THAT REMINDS ME: A snapshot of Grand Forks life in 1964

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opinion Grand Forks,North Dakota 58203
Grand Forks Herald
THAT REMINDS ME: A snapshot of Grand Forks life in 1964
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

Alderman Hugo Magnuson, operator of three Grand Forks supermarkets, was elected mayor of Grand Forks 50 years ago.

Magnuson won in a tight contest with Postmaster E.J. Collette and two other candidates. He won with 1,904 votes, while Colette drew 1,814.


Voting machines were used for the first time in Grand Forks in that election. In the mayor race, David Kessler drew 1,529 votes. Alderman Jerome Endres polled 428.

Also in April 1964, the Air Force approved a contract with Nodak Rural Electric Coop in Grand Forks to furnish power required for 56 sites of the 165-unit Wing Six Minuteman Missile complex in eastern North Dakota.

The contract for power supply to 49 launch and six launch-control sites was awarded after a year of negotiations, according to James Coleman, Nodak manager.

  • Dean R.B. Witmer of UND was granted a Sabbatical leave with plans to return after one year as professor of physics. That was in keeping with the policies of the state board, which limited the age of top administrators to 65. President George Starcher was happy with the leave granted to Dean Witmer. He said dean and his wife, Lillian, had given generously of their time to advance the university.
  • Robert Pile was re-elected president of the Lake Agassiz Boy Scout council at its 45th annual meeting.
  • M.M. Oppegard, publisher of the Herald, was speaker for the dedication of the new Elks Lodge building at 2215 S. Belmont Road. Robert Norman was elected exalted ruler of the lodge, succeeding George Brager.
  • John Ingwalson, president of the Grand Forks Gun Club, said shooting would get under way April 26.
  • H.H. Herberger, manager of Herberger’s clothing store, was elected president of the Greater North Dakota Association. He succeeded John Gunkelman of Fargo. Among area vice presidents reelected was John Scott of Gilby, N.D.
  • Mrs. William (Harriet) Charlesworth was honored as Woman of the Year in Grand Forks for 1964. She succeeded Mrs. George Starcher. Her service to the community was mainly in the musical field.

She was the first to serve as president of the Community Music Association.

  • Dr. E.A. Haunz, cellist, was soloist for the spring concert of the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. The concert was the last of the season and directed by Leo Haesle.
  • C.D. Locklin in his Herald column, “Looking Through the Knothole,” wrote that Coach Marvin Helling was starting his spring football with the same problem North Dakota had a year earlier: starting without adequate passing.

“If the Nodaks are going to do better than a year ago, the coaches are going to have to find someone with better skill at passing,” he said.

  • O. Lewis Ugland was named president of Grand Forks Curling Club for another season. Bill Eccles was chosen vice president.
  • Thomas J. Clifford, dean of the college of business and vice president for finance at UND, was chosen Boss of the Year by the Twin Forks chapter of National Secretaries Association.

While most of those who were movers and shakers of Grand Forks in 1949 are now gone, there were younger people in the news:

  • Chuck Norby, outstanding senior center for Grand Forks Central, was selected one of the four top prep players in the U.S. by Hockey magazine. Included in the Minnesota all-star team were Wendell Grand and Gary Brandt, Roseau, and Davie Erickson, Thief River Falls.
  • Patti McIntyre and Pete Ryan were general chairman for the senior prom at Central High School. The gymnasium was transformed into a rose garden, complete with trellises, archways and a wishing well.
  • Jennifer Burdick, daughter of U.S. Sen. and Mrs. Quentin Burdick, served as North Dakota representative during the Cherry Blossom celebration week in Washington, D.C.