The North Dakota Newspaper Association dedicated its new hall of fame location in the North Dakota Heritage Center during its annual conference Friday.
“This is a great day, a great day for celebrating the role newspapers play in our great state,” said association past-president Mike Gackle.
The public will now be able to view the association’s hall of fame on a kiosk located to the left of the new Northern Lights lobby. The hall of fame was previously located in the University of North Dakota reading room.
“I can’t imagine anything more appropriate,” North Dakota Secretary of State and state historical board member Al Jaeger said of the hall of fame’s placement in the Heritage Center. “The history of North Dakota has been documented in newspapers.”
The association honored the two living members of the hall of fame, Bill Marcil and Sen. John Andrist, R-Crosby, during the dedication. The late Don Gackle, the hall of fame’s 47th inductee whom the kiosk was in memory of, also was honored along with family members of other past inductees.
“If it wouldn’t have been for Don (Gackle) and Bill (Marcil) and John (Andrist) this probably wouldn’t have happened,” Mike Gackle said.
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The three men were the founders of the North Dakota Newspaper Association Education Foundation, which funded the new hall of fame. The foundation purchased the programming for the kiosk and the State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation provided the kiosk itself, said State Historical Society Foundation development officer Karl Lembke.
Roger Bailey of Bismarck, former publisher of the Turtle Mountain Star in Rolla and retired executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association,was inducted into the hall of fame Friday night during the association’s 128th annual convention in Bismarck.
A photo and biography for each hall of fame inductee is included. Lembke said the center will add a second kiosk in time for the center’s grand opening. The hall of fame also will be accessible online.
North Dakota Newspaper Association Education Foundation President Allan Burke said he thought Don Gackle would be proud of the new hall of fame though it won’t consist of paper and typeface. He joked, had Gackle been there, he would have asked for a hard copy.
When Heritage Center visitors click on the kiosk’s NDNA Hall of Fame page, they will be greeted by a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”
The kiosk is part of the historical society foundation’s larger Hall of Honors Electronic Kiosk project. A 32-inch touch screen gives access to not only the North Dakota Newspaper Association Hall of Fame but the state’s aviation hall of fame, peace officer hall of fame, heritage families hall of fame and a history of the Heritage Center expansion, Lembke said.
“This will preserve the memory of thousands of North Dakotans,” he said.
Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or email@example.com.