THAT REMINDS ME WITH MARILYN HAGERTY: From Green Stamps to ballistic missiles in 1961Saving stamps from the supermarkets was a way for many people to get Christmas presents for others. Gold Bond stamps were offered in a full-page ad from Miller’s Super Fair. Red Owl’s ad offered a coupon for 100 Three Star Stamps. Piggly Wiggly said, “We give S&H Green Stamps.” Grandmothers who came visiting during the holiday season often were assigned to pasting stamps in little books.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
The action before Christmas was downtown 50 years ago in Grand Forks. Nobody dreamed that 32nd Avenue South would be the center of activity before Christmas in years to come.
The Dacotah Hotel announced completion of renovations and the opening of a steak house to run from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily. And a complete Chinese menu was to be featured in the steak house as well as the coffee shop.
The hotel offered 20 mezzanine floor offices and six fifth-floor apartments. Keith Bacon was the managing director.
Business was buzzing downtown. Mandel’s was featuring a mink sale. And Howard’s Pizza was newly remodeled and located “just over the bridge in the Madden Block.”
These were the days when women were tinting their shoes. Schiff Shoes downtown ran an ad in the Herald featuring tint-free colors Dec. 4-9.
Children and their parents gathered at Benner’s Toy and Hobby Shop before Christmas in days long gone. Jewelry from Willey’s Jewelers was on the wish list of many women. The curtain was going up on a new Senger Piggly Wiggly store in East Grand Forks.
Fuel oil was used in many homes here 50 years ago. An ad for Ireland’s Lumber Yard said nobody sold for less.
Saving stamps from the supermarkets was a way for many people to get Christmas presents for others. Gold Bond stamps were offered in a full-page ad from Miller’s Super Fair. Red Owl’s ad offered a coupon for 100 Three Star Stamps. Piggly Wiggly said, “We give S&H Green Stamps.”
Grandmothers who came visiting during the holiday season often were assigned to pasting stamps in little books.
# # #
The battle over Sunday shopping was not over in December 1961. City prosecutor Gordon Caldis was investigating charges of Sunday openings at three Grand Forks stores. The openings were out of compliance with the state laws.
Attorney Daniel Letnes argued this was a church community, and the council should enforce the Sunday closing laws.
Mayor Nelson Youngs commented that North Dakota’s attorney general had refused to prosecute the complaint made here by A.J. Helgerson. It was against Young Drug, White Drug and Larson and Torgeson Drug. A complaint was made and later withdrawn against operation of the downtown Park E-Z.
Speaking for Helgerson, Paul Benson said, “We were merely hoping to demonstrate the city ordinance against Sunday sales is unworkable. We are not interested in stirring up one business against another.”
# # #
The Thursday Music Club presented its 63rd annual Christmas Musicale in the First Presbyterian Church 50 years ago, with Mrs. George Macauley, chairwoman, assisted by Paul Lundquist.
On the sports scene, Michigan State topped the Sioux 5-3 in the opening game here. But the Sioux evened the series with a 6-4 victory the following night. And the Minnesota Gophers were selected to play in the Rose Bowl for the second year in a row.
The name of retired Air Force Gen. Nathan Twining was going on the new school at Grand Forks Air Base. Twining headed the Air Force for four years before becoming a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He had retired four years earlier.
The name Eielson had been chosen for the other school to honor North Dakota’s famed Arctic explorer, Carl Ben Eielson, a native of Hatton, N.D.
“Area missile base likely,” read the banner headline on the Herald’s front page Dec. 26, 1961.
North Dakota Sen. Milton Young had announced the possibility of a Minuteman complex. Some three squadrons of 50 missiles within a 50-75 mile radius of Grand Forks were expected. The missile sites would be concrete underground.