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MARILYN HAGERTY: 1963: N.D. GOP decries JFK's 'glittered-up' socialism

A committee of 100 was formed 50 years ago with Don Brusegaard of Gilby, N.D., as chairman. The committee would back the independent candidacy of the late John Scott in an Oct. 22, 1963, special election for the U.S. House. He was seeking to fill...

Marilyn Hagerty
Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

A committee of 100 was formed 50 years ago with Don Brusegaard of Gilby, N.D., as chairman. The committee would back the independent candidacy of the late John Scott in an Oct. 22, 1963, special election for the U.S. House. He was seeking to fill the seat vacated by the death of Hjalmer Nygaard.

Scott was a Gilby farmer-rancher who said he had been a Republican all his life. He said he filed for election because conservatives were being read out of the Republican Party. His supporters included both Republicans and Democrats.

Scott said he would welcome the support of anyone, regardless of whether they belonged to the John Birch Society or the Farmer's Union.

The election was won by Mark Andrews, a 38-year-old farmer. Scott, who was described as a Gilby farmer-banker, collected 2,200 votes in Grand Forks County, but Andrews carried the county by a narrow margin.

Dr. Ben Clayburgh, state Republican vice chairman, said voting in the special election was a "solid rejection of the Kennedy New Frontier" by North Dakota voters.

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"Mark Andrews and John Scott already carried to the people the fact that the New Frontier is only a glittered-up form of socialism."

Along with interest in the special election for the House seat, there was excitement around UND's football team.

With a grin almost as big as Memorial Stadium, Dave Osborn said, "I get a big kick out of beating Montana," wrote Herald sports editor C.D. Locklin.

Osborn was a halfback at UND and known as the "Cando Kid" and the "Cando Cannonball." He was a 197-pound junior speedster who went on to be a running back for 12 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. "He runs hard," Coach Marv Helling said

"We like it that way. He has another season left. He's a threat to score every time he gets the ball."

But the Jackrabbits from South Dakota State College toppled the Sioux by a score of 7-6 in a homecoming game before 9,000 fans in Memorial Stadium.

Thus ended the Sioux dreams of an unbeaten season. The team did uphold its mastery over the Bison from North Dakota State College with a 21-7 win.

Jean Moe, a sophomore from Grafton and member of Alpha Phi sorority, was named homecoming queen 50 years ago. The parade was headed by Gov. and Mrs. William Guy along with UND President and Mrs. George Starcher and Grand Forks Mayor and Mrs. Nelson Youngs. Also, Strategic Air Commander Col. and Mrs. Pete Sianis of Grand Forks Air Base.

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In other news in October 1963, 50 years ago:

• The United Fund was seeking volunteers to raise $141,870 in Grand Forks. In East Grand Forks, the drive was on to raise $14,365 for the Community Chest.

• Ruby Heen was appointed clerk of the district court to fill the unexpired term of her father, C.A. Heen, 80, who died. He had been re-elected for a fourth term the previous fall.

• Ray Fladland of Grand Forks was elected president of the North Dakota Association of Realtors at their meeting in Fargo.

• Melva Jane Sorum was named North Dakota Potato Queen at Park River, N.D.

• At Pembina, N.D., the Motor Coach Industries Inc. assembly plant was reported to be in full operation. On hand for the dedication were Gov. Guy and members of the State Economic Commission.

• Five winners in the Potato Festival contest to snare a 75-pound pig were Shelly Skavlem, Herb Helgerson, Ken Bina, Felix Jelinek and Jim Swenson.

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