25 Years Ago-1993
Broken windows, dented Airstreamers and flooded basements were left behind on Thursday, July 1, when three storms with winds gusting up to 38 mph hit Bismarck-Mandan with a downpour of rain and 15 minutes of two-inch-sized hail. Roads, culverts and ditches became rivers, drowned in several feet of water, while visibility was reduced to nearly nothing at times. A 24-hour record for rainfall in July was broken when 2.7 inches of rain fell at the Bismarck airport. The previous high was 2.33 inches on July 18, 1969.
Damages in Mandan were not nearly as bad as in south Bismarck, however, Mandan’s rodeo events had to be temporarily canceled as the roads surrounding Dacotah Centennial Park were under several inches of water. The area golf courses were also closed due to standing water and hail-damaged greens.
Damage to the nearly 2,500 Airstreamer trailers parked at Silver City near the Bismarck airport, headquarters for the annual convention of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International, is estimated at $4.9 million. But the thousands strong Airstream visitors kept their sense of humor and had bumper stickers printed and placed on their trailers that read “Bis-Marks.”
More volatile weather was on tap for the long holiday weekend, and it was a breezy, cloudy, wet Fourth at the culmination of Mandan’s Rodeo Days celebration. Though the parade down Main Street was huge — 125 units —only about a dozen pieces were from the Wally Byam Caravan Club International; at least 50 had been expected. But the Airstream folks who ventured down Main Street received the most applause of the day, continuing the mutual love affair between the locals and the club that brought the silver trailers to Bismarck.
Temperatures recorded Tuesday, July 6: a high of 65 degrees; 53 degrees for the low.
50 Years Ago-1968
For the second consecutive year, Rudy Weinhandl of Mandan has won the sweepstakes at the annual Spring Flower Show sponsored by the Mandan-Bismarck Garden and Flower Club. Mrs. Enoch Schultz, Bismarck, was runner-up. Mrs. Mike Ehreth, Mandan, won the grand championship flower arrangement.
Jerry Kuhn, age 8, son of Mr. and Mrs. Del Kuhn of Mandan, proudly displayed his 14-pound catfish that was landed Saturday morning while fishing with his dad south of Mandan on the Missouri River. He also pulled in a 2-pound walleye. When asked what his secret is, Jerry replied, “Get up early in the morning and when the fish wake up, catch them before they have both their eyes open.”
Funeral services were held this past week at Mandan’s First Presbyterian Church for Robert Shaw, 49, superintendent of the Mandan water works. Born at Mandan, the son of Mr. and Mrs. LaRue Shaw, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1938 to 1946 and married Shirley Gray in 1942 at Portland, Maine. Survivors include his wife, daughters Sylvia Ann, St. Paul, Minn., and Diane Marie and Mary Beth, both at home, two brothers, two sisters.
75 Years Ago-1943
“The 1943 Mandan rodeo is history.
“From every angle, the annual event, now streamlined and shorn of its usual frills through the necessities of war, was a huge success. The directors of the Mandan Rodeo Association and Leo Cremer, rodeo producer and director, are receiving the congratulations of Mandan businessmen and citizens for their outstanding job which upheld Mandan’s high entertainment reputation and gave the people of western North Dakota an opportunity to celebrate the nation’s birthday and break the monotony of wartime work.
“From the opening parade on Saturday to the bull riding Monday night, no one was disappointed. There were three parades staged over the weekend, one of which stretched through the streets of Bismarck, and the streets were packed each time. With the Mandan High School band and the VFW’s drum and bugle corps furnishing the music, the long line of beautiful horses and their riders drew hearty applause. But the biggest parade was seen at 10 a.m. on the Fourth and that featured the horses and music plus a beautiful flotilla of patriotic floats.
“Total tickets sold for the big rodeo performances set a new record with more than 16,500 individual admissions, which included the grandstand, bleachers and children’s tickets. More than $5,000 in prizes was also awarded to the 200 world champion riders and ropers who hailed from all areas of the United States.”
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“Elmer Williams, 16, of Mandan didn’t have the chance to enjoy the Fourth compared to his friends housed at the State Industrial School. He ran away from the school a few days ago and was hitch-hiking near Miles City, Mont., when he decided to flag a car for a ride to Billings. Unfortunately, he made a bad choice of vehicles. The car that slowed down contained a Highway Patrolman and his deputy, who just happened to be looking for Elmer.”
100 Years Ago-1918
“Many of the smaller cities on the Slope celebrated the Fourth in regular old-time fashion, minus the big guns and fireworks this year. All agreed that it would be inappropriate to celebrate the Fourth with parades, games and fireworks as in past years when our young men and women are now fighting and dying in the Great War.
“A good-sized crowd attended the Loyalty celebration given at the Catholic church on the afternoon of the Fourth. Entertainment consisted of a musical program, followed by an ice cream social.
“Members of the Mandan Town & Country Club enjoyed a pleasant time at the clubhouse on the evening of the Fourth when a short patriotic program was rendered, after which, the time was spent in dancing and cards.
“A meteor passing over the sky this week, at about 10:30, passing from southeast to northwest lightened up the sky to the brilliance of a thousand-candle power light. The illumination lasted but a couple of seconds and grew in intensity. The meteor disappeared to the northwest and must have landed within a few miles of Mandan. It was a phenomenon rarely seen. Some wondered if this was an omen that the Great War will soon end.”
125 Years Ago-1893
“On Thurs., July 6, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 76 degrees above zero.”
“In celebrating the holiday of holidays, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, New Salem was the only town in this county that was in it to any extent this year. The special trains which left Mandan and Bismarck carried a large crowd who were heartily welcomed by the people of New Salem. Flags and bunting were everywhere to be seen flying in the breeze. The weather was perfect, and everybody was happy and good-tempered.
“Throughout the afternoon, various forms of sports and games were available for young and old alike — target shooting, a foot race, a bicycle race and horse racing. The last racing event was a half-mile dash for ponies. Three started, Engelter, Ormiston and Treider, and they passed the wire in this rotation. The contest was close, but Engelter’s pony well-deserved its blue ribbon.
“Back on Main Street, the seductive wheel of fortune tempted young boys and men to increase their fortunes; instead it seemed to give most of them an opportunity to rid themselves of their spare change. Women and children also gathered in the new public hall for rest, lunch and lemonade, along with social chats with their neighbors.
“A pleasing feature of the day’s celebration was the ball in the evening which was considered the formal dedication and opening of the new public hall and opera house. The Morck Bros. Syndicate orchestra of Mandan supplied the music. Mandan and other visiting guests say they did not miss a dance.”
On the Fourth in Mandan, “Bright and early in the morning, the large flag on the city flag staff was unfurled to the breeze and that was the signal for the unfurling of flags from staffs on the school building, the G.A.R. hall and the Northern Pacific shops. Throughout the afternoon, picnics were held outside at some of the homes where there were lawns or grass plots. Boys and their firecrackers were as numerous as ever, the pop, pop, popping sounds were heard from morning to night, giving plenty of evidence of the observance of Independence Day. The day concluded with a beautiful display of fireworks given by several private citizens.”