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MARILYN HAGERTY: Dakota Queen plied Red River's waters in '88

The Dakota Queen riverboat with its pilot, Paul Lester, was in its fourth year on the Red River here 25 years ago. And during July 1988, there were special parties during Riverboat Days along with the regular tours and dinners. Generous Jerry was...

The Dakota Queen riverboat with its pilot, Paul Lester, was in its fourth year on the Red River here 25 years ago.

And during July 1988, there were special parties during Riverboat Days along with the regular tours and dinners.

Generous Jerry was selling fireworks four miles south of the city on Highway 81 South, then as now. Former UND hockey players Tony Hrkac of the National St. Louis Blues and Bob Joyce, straight from Stanley Cup playoffs, were around Grand Forks signing autographs.

Dick King and his Classic Swing Band were booked for their traditional Fourth of July performance at Turtle River State Park.

Much of North Dakota was plagued with drought 25 years ago. Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng visited the state and said Jamestown, N.D., had been hit hardest by the dry conditions.

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And the largest group of migrants ever had moved into the state and were having a hard time finding work.

Low water in Fargo was causing restrictions, but hydrologists said the situation probably would not affect Grand Forks. The Red River bed at Fargo was almost dry under the Broadway bridge.

On July 24, 1988, rain fell sporadically across the state of North Dakota.

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St. Michael's Catholic Church was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places in July 1988. And the Rev. William Sherman said the distinction was good news for about 5,000 people in 1,600 households.

The church had been restored after fire to its Romanesque style. The roots of the church were traced back to 1872, when a French priest came to the junction of the Red and Red Lake rivers to celebrate Mass with French-Indian people known as Metis.

In 1988, Sherman said St. Michael's Church had come a long way from the time a priest celebrated semi-regular Masses in a log cabin on North Fifth Street and DeMers Avenue.

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Names in the news 25 years ago:

n Diddy Quesnell of Grand Forks was named team manager for the blue teams in the 1988 U.S. Olympic boxing tournament in Concord, Calif. Managers and coaches for the eight teams at the trials were announced by the U.S. Amateur Boxing Association.

• The 100th birthday of Maxwell Anderson, North Dakota's most famous playwright, was celebrated in Muenster, Germany. There was a major production of his 1938 Broadway musical, "Knickerbocker Holiday."

• Frank Rose, longtime Minnkota Power engineer and manager, died at 64. He was considered a major contributor to the development of regional power pools in the Upper Midwest.

• Tom Wynne dominated the men's open division of the Grand Forks Tennis Classics.

• Andrew Hampsten, originally from Grand Forks, was reported to be "hanging tough" in the Tour de France. On July 9, 1988, there was less than • week to go before the cyclists would reach the high mountains.

• Grand Forks golfer Jeff Skinner rallied to win the North Dakota stroke play championship at Lincoln Park.

• Dr. Bruce Storhaug, Thief River Falls, joined the eye care practice of Opticare in East Grand Forks.

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• Jim and Adelyne Gibbs closed the A&W Drive Inn on Gateway Drive. It was the end of the Mama and Papa Burgers, the splashing fountain, the pink and white petunias and the push-button ordering for curb service.

Customers were saddened to think there'd be no more frosty-cold root beer mugs and no more baby mugs.

At the time, Jim Gibbs said it was one of the most difficult decisions in his life. He was planning to start a convenience food store, the Herald reported. He had bought the A&W franchise in Grand Forks in 1957 and moved here from Baudette, Minn.

Other drive-ins included Toby's It and Jacoby's Hamburger Heaven along with the Kegs, which has continued operation during the summers.

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