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THAT REMINDS ME: A 'world typing institute' at UND

The weather was cold and wet on the Fourth of July 50 years ago. But there were fireworks and celebrations. There was dancing at Bachelor's Grove with music by Bill Dvorak. "Around the World in 80 Days" was showing at the Dakota Theatre, and "Mee...

The weather was cold and wet on the Fourth of July 50 years ago. But there were fireworks and celebrations. There was dancing at Bachelor's Grove with music by Bill Dvorak. "Around the World in 80 Days" was showing at the Dakota Theatre, and "Meet Me in Las Vegas" was the feature at the Star-Lite Drive In.

And newly acquired right hander Octavio Acosta fired a no-hitter as the Grand Forks Chiefs drubbed the Winnipeg Goldeyes 12-1 in early July 1958. The triumph was the first game of a double-header that ended in a split for the home team.

The World Institute of Typing was held at UND with 600 typing teachers in attendance. It was organized by Dr. John Rowe, chairman of the department of business education. The first organized class for typing had been held 75 years earlier.

UND President George Starcher said, "In 75 years, typing has become the basic means of communication not only for use in business, but in our personal lives. It is accepted as a universal tool of literacy."

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There was a buzz in Grand Forks 50 years ago about the city manager plan. Petitions were being circulated to do away with it when the elections rolled around in November. And there was a battle brewing between Mayor Oscar Lunseth and Keith Bacon, operator of the Dacotah Hotel. This came when Bacon ran an ad in the Herald saying, "City Fathers About to Give Away Our Airport."

His ad followed a proposal that the new interstate highway would go through the airport on the west edge of the city. Mayor Lunseth and Harold Shaft, chairman of the mayor's airport-bridge committee, responded, "Keith Bacon should check on his facts before he spends any more money to say how the city should be run."

And then there was the controversy over the liquor license for the proposed new Elks Club on Belmont Road. Representing 23 property owners, Attorneys Harold Shaft and Ed Gillig requested an injunction against the proposal. The injunction was issued by Judge John Pollock, Fargo; but the club still was free to build the proposed $500,000 clubhouse. City attorney Olaf Thorsen said he would study the order and await action of the Elks Club.

It eventually became water under the bridge because the club house was built and the license granted.

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In other news during July 1958:

New postage rates were coming in. Postmaster E.J. Collette said that to beat the deadline for new rates, several Grand Forks businesses were sending out monthly statements earlier than usual. Large additional supplies of 4-cent stamps bearing the likeness of Abraham Lincoln were being received here to meet the new letter rates. Also, new 7-cent airmail stamps were replacing the 6-cent airmail stamps. Postal cards would be 3 cents instead of 2 cents. Airmail postcards would be 5 cents.

The new men's dormitory at UND was named to honor George Walsh, who sponsored the bill to establish the university in the 1883 territorial legislature. And he was largely responsible for mustering support.


Born in Quebec in 1845, Walsh came to Grand Forks with his parents from Minnesota and in 1875 founded the city's first newspaper, The Plaindealer. He was president of the first organized government of Grand Forks in 1878 and a member of the territorial assembly from 1875 to 1885 and again in 1889. He served as president from 1879 to 1881. Walsh died in 1913 and was buried in Grand Forks.

In his "History of North Dakota," Elwyn Robinson quotes Walsh as he talked of the intrigue in which cities grabbed plums in those days. Walsh once said, "I took the university, Jamestown the insane asylum, and Fargo took the agricultural college. The penitentiary went to Bismarck."

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Names in the news 50 years ago:

n Helen Korfhage, 19, was named Miss Grand Forks in a two-hour pageant before 800 people in Central High School auditorium. She was described as a "brown-eyed blonde beauty." She also won the title of Miss North Dakota in a pageant in Bismarck.

n Dr. Richard Helm joined the Leigh Clinic at 111 N. Fifth St.

n Dr. Harold Evans joined the internal medicine department of the Grand Forks Clinic.

n Pete Fritzell, 17, was the new Country Club golf champion. A Central High School graduate, he planned to enter UND. At 15, he won the North Central golf championship.


n Alice Joy Warner and Donald Bostrom announced their plans to wed on Aug. 23. She was a UND graduate employed by General Mills in Minneapolis. He was a UND graduate and on the faculty.

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