COLUMNIST MARILYN HAGERTY: Chester Fritz Library took shape in 1960
Cold weather slowed but did not stop work on construction of the Chester Fritz Library at UND 50 years ago this month. The outline of the fine library was by then shadowing the entire campus. And, the Herald said, it would be a stimulus to higher...
Cold weather slowed but did not stop work on construction of the Chester Fritz Library at UND 50 years ago this month.
The outline of the fine library was by then shadowing the entire campus. And, the Herald said, it would be a stimulus to higher education in North Dakota.
The library was named after its benefactor, a native North Dakotan and a graduate of Lidgerwood High School as well as UND.
Plans were to continue with the laying of bricks and finishing inside portions throughout the winter.
Chester Fritz was an international investment banker. He donated $1 million for the library. At the time, it was the largest-ever gift to an institution of higher education in North Dakota.
Grand Forks also paid tribute 50 years ago to Dave Kelly, whose political career had scanned 50 years. Kelly had worked tirelessly in the cause of the Democratic Party from the time of the Woodrow Wilson administration to the time of the incoming John F. Kennedy administration in late 1960.
Kelly retired after 20 years as chairman of the Democratic Party. He had never held a public office. Invitations were sent to incoming Gov. William Guy and retiring Gov. John Davis as well at U.S. Rep. Don Short and U.S. Sen. Milton Young.
Mayor Nelson Youngs of Grand Forks declared Dec. 8, 1960, as Dave Kelly Appreciation Day. The crowd was so large they had to set up extra seating in the Grand Forks Armory-Auditorium.
These were the days when President-elect John F. Kennedy was making his Cabinet appointments, and he was welcomed to the White House by President Dwight Eisenhower.
Jacqueline Kennedy was being introduced to the public as the mother of two small children and a person who could speak five languages. Queen Elizabeth of England was pictured with her infant son, Andrew, who was born earlier in 1960.
With the arrival of planes and personnel at Grand Forks Air Force Base, the city was looking ahead to a bright future. A Denver engineering firm, C.H. Hager & Co., estimated that Grand Forks' population would grow by 10,090 in 10 years and that it would reach 42,300 by 1980.
Then, as now, the Santa Claus Girls at the Herald were gathering donations to buy Christmas toys for needy children around the city. The names of the contributors were printed daily in the newspaper.
And just before Christmas, packages were taken to 900 underprivileged children of the community. The packing was done at the YWCA, and donations of $2,154 were above the goal.
Christmas shopping in Grand Forks was downtown in 1960. There was a Gambles Store and several men's stores, including Arnold Havig's, Wilsons and McDonalds.
Norbys ran big ads claiming to be THE Christmas store. But many a grownup today remembers going to Benners for the most complete railroad trains and rails in the whole area.
These were the days when Christmas gifts were Bulova watches from Royal Jewelry and fur coats from Mandel's, Sterns or Seeger's. Shoppers also found their way to the Big Surples Outlet Store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and DeMers.
Anyone who was around 50 years ago also will remember Mary Elizabeth department store, Goodman Electric and Clayton Ness Epko.
Names in the news in December 1960:
** Cliff Cushman was voted North Dakota Athlete of the Year for his performance in the Olympic games in Rome, where he won a silver medal.
Cushman was visiting his parents in Grand Forks and in the process of finishing his senior year at the University of Kansas. He later lost his life in Vietnam.
But earlier, he had written a letter to the youth of Grand Forks challenging them to be the best they could in their endeavors. His letter was printed first on the front page of the Herald and widely circulated in the months and years after.
Cushman Field used by high school football teams here is named in his honor.
** Brenda McKinnon and Conrad Sondreal were married in St. Mary's Catholic Church and made their first home in Fargo. She was a graduate of Stephens College in Missouri, and he was a student at Mayville State.
** Lorna Gustafson and Ensign Thomas Berge were married in the Federated Church. They made their first home near Philadelphia, where he was stationed with the U.S. Navy.