THAT REMINDS ME: Downtown post office won stamp of approval in ‘64
Grand Forks got a new post office. UND got a new hockey coach. And the annual tree planting was under way in the Grand Forks area 50 years ago. The year was 1964. The new -- now old -- post office was dedicated at 311-315 S. Fourth Street. That w...
Grand Forks got a new post office. UND got a new hockey coach. And the annual tree planting was under way in the Grand Forks area 50 years ago.
The year was 1964. The new - now old - post office was dedicated at 311-315 S. Fourth Street. That was long before the new post office was dedicated in the present location at 2501 28th Ave. S.
Fifty years ago, Sen. Quentin Burdick and Assistant Postmaster General Richard Murphy came to Grand Forks for dedication of the post office. The Grand Forks Central High School band directed by William Pond was there. And the master of ceremonies was Harold Shaft, a local attorney.
The welcome was given by Mayor Hugo Magnuson. And Grand Forks Postmaster G.M. Paul accepted the flag from Burdick during the ceremony.
Murphy stressed in his talk that the long-standing postal deficit was being cut under President Lyndon Johnson to the point where the department was at a break-even point.
It was UND President George Starcher who announced the elevation of Bob Peters to the post of head ice hockey coach. He succeeded Barry Thorndycraft, who was having continuing problems with his Canadian exchange visitor visa.
Peters became the 10th ice hockey coach for the team that started in 1929-30 with Joe Brown as pilot during the early years. Brown was followed by Neland Franz. Then came coaches Buck Carmeron, John Jamieson, Don Norman, Cliff (Fido) Purpur, Bob May and Barry Thorndycraft.
The annual tree planting was under way here 50 years ago. Some 250 miles of windbreak would be planted, said Martin Lund of the Grand Forks County Soil Conservation Service. Grand Forks County was consistently largest in tree planting in North Dakota, along with other counties along the Red River, Lund said.
Dropmore elm and Siouxland cottonwood trees were popular 50 years ago.
Grand Forks reached an all-time record high temperature for May back in 1964. The reading climbed to 100 that day. The highest temperature on record was a 105 on May 30, 1934.
But life went on. St. James High School had a class of 110 graduating. Timothy Lane was valedictorian. Kevin Kuklok and Alan Larivee were co-salutatorians.
At Central High School, there were 310 graduates. Speakers were Jayne Jacobi, David Pearson, Brian McClure and David Butz.
On May 30, there were 707 graduating from UND.
Names in the news 50 years ago:
- Keith Bacon, 64, owner of the Dacotah Hotel and lifelong resident of Grand Forks, died. He had been a longtime spokesman for the Association of Grand Forks Taxpayers. He led in doing away with the city manager form of government in 1963.
He obituary said: “His home was his castle, and it was the Dacotah Hotel where he lived all his life. His father was Jerry Bacon, founder of the original Dacotah Hotel here in 1888-89. That hotel was destroyed by fire in 1897, and fire took the second Dacotah Hotel in 1943. A later version of the Dacotah was built by Keith Bacon during World War II.”
Surviving him was his wife, Coleen.
- Karen Kopseng was named Miss Grand Forks.
- Mrs. Thomas Berge was named president of Alpha Phi alumnae.
- Tom Clifford, dean of the college of business and vice president for finance at UND, was chosen Boss of the Year by Twin Forks chapter of the National Secretaries Association.
- On the national scene, Lady Bird Johnson was emerging as a charming, real Southern lady.
Here in Grand Forks, Gyda Varden Lodge of the Sons of Norway held its May 17 celebration. And 10,000 were expected at Armed Forces Day celebrations on Grand Forks Air Force base.
Central Valley School was under construction midway between Buxton and Reynolds, N.D.
Comics in the Grand Forks Herald featured Dick Tracy, Orphan Annie and Gasoline Alley. Skeezix was growing older, but Rex Morgan and June - who are still around - looked much the same then as they do now.
You could buy five pints of California strawberries for $1 at Miller’s Supermarket. And National downtown had 12 rolls of 150-sheet toilet paper for $1. But it is all relative to the passing times.
Shoppers here were finding pork chops for 29 cents a pound and two pounds of bananas for 25 cents at K-Mart Foods. Also, four dozen hamburger buns were going for $1 at Cox retail bakery.