MARILYN HAGERTY: Turning point for cigarettes came 50 years ago

"Indict cigarette smoking; hazard termed grave," declared a banner headline in the Herald on Jan. 12, 1964. This was at a time when cigarette advertisements filled newspapers everywhere. But the early stern warning said: "Heavy cigarette smoking ...

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.

"Indict cigarette smoking; hazard termed grave," declared a banner headline in the Herald on Jan. 12, 1964.

This was at a time when cigarette advertisements filled newspapers everywhere. But the early stern warning said:

"Heavy cigarette smoking in the principal cause of cancer of the lung and larynx and a health hazard so grave as to call for remedial action, a blue ribbon panel concluded.

"Surgeon General Luther Terry of the U.S. Public Health Service said he would move promptly on steps urged by the scientific group."

Bids were to be opened 50 years ago in St. Paul for construction of the sixth Minuteman Missile Wing proposed for northeastern North Dakota.


And the Herald said Col. Henry Weston, area engineer for the Corps of Engineers, was hoping for construction to begin within a month.

Construction of the previous five Minuteman wings was done at a cost of $50 million to $90 million. Contracts for the bids called for 150 reinforced concrete underground missile launch facilities, or silos, and 15 reinforced underground launch control facilities.

This was part of the Cold War, and the silos were spread over a 6,500 square mile area around Grand Forks Air Force Base.

At the same time, the Grand Forks Chamber was looking ahead to the year 1964 and anticipating the impact from the Minuteman Missile Complex in the area.

The Chamber installed Robert Lander as 50th president. He was the grandson of the late E.J. Lander, first president who held the office for seven years from 1904 to 1911.

Lander succeeded Edward L. Olson as president. The Boss of the Year award went to A.A. Holmquist, president of Valley Bank. New officers of the chamber were John McDonald, Robert Pile and Don Lindgren.

The Chamber was looking back on a year of achievement, including completion of intercity bridges and the new international airport. Norman Midboe, airport manager, announced the new Grand Forks International Airport would be operational by Feb. 1, 1964.

The new $1.5 million Skidmore Avenue bridge spanning the Red River relieved congestion on the DeMers Avenue bridge.


At the same time, walls were going up for the new Grand Forks Country Club four miles south of the city. A new 18-hole golf course was being finished and was expected to be ready for play in 1964.

The Elks Club was scheduled to move into its new $750,000 building at the south rim of Lincoln Park in February. And a new post office building was opening in February at 311 S. Fourth St.

In East Grand Forks, some 350 students moved from the old Central High School into the new Senior High. The principal of the school was Stanley Baraga.

Debra Lynn Ashby arrived one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1964. She became the first baby born in Grand Forks and, indeed, in North Dakota.

The parents were Mr. and Mrs. David Ashby, 526 Cambridge Street. The baby, delivered by Dr. Charles Graham, was one of five born in city hospitals and at the Grand Forks Air Force Base hospital on Jan. 1, 1964.

The second baby on the first day of 1964 was born here to Mr. and Mrs. John Peller at Deaconess Hospital. He was named Robert.

The Grand Forks library observed its 60th year of community service during 1964. The collection of 51,500 books included the children's department and the bookmobile. The library was serving 13,000 local and 700 more area residents with Mrs. Richard Frank as head librarian.

On the business scene, Cox Bakery -- which originated as a tiny business at Northwood, N.D., in 1944 -- had expanded into a "bread empire" with 36 units in five states, the Herald reported. The general office in Grand Forks announced four new bakeries in Texas.


Henry's 15-cent hamburger shop made its appearance on South Washington Street at Hammerling Avenue.

Among the stores where people shopped 50 years ago were Osco Drug, Woolworth's, Griffith's, Herberger's, Red Owl, Miller's Super Fair, National Foods and T.I. Strinden Our Own Hardware.

Name in the news 50 years ago:

โ€ข Henry Tweten was elected president of the East Grand Forks City Council, succeeding Leonard Driscoll. An attorney, Tweten was starting his second year on the council.

โ€ข Grant Jensen was elected president of the Grand Forks Board of Realtors.

What To Read Next
Get Local