U-AC Football Turns Nasty
Grand Forks, 1909
Ever since the Agricultural College beat the University 12-4 in their first game in 1894, spirits and tensions have run high between the two schools. The games have been called “sanctioned gang fights.” Each school accuses the other of using illegal players — even faculty. Three times the schools have broken off relations. The University is again considering not playing the AC. Word has been received here that Fargo businesses are paying some AC players.
Kid Galavan KO’s Billy Ryan
Jamestown, July 5, 1903
Several hundred locals braved the heat and bugs to witness the outdoor match. The Kid and Billy are touring the state in a series of fights. Boxing has been popular for many years with residents. Billy lasted only two rounds yesterday.
Horse Races Gaining Popularity
Fessenden, August 5, 1907
The Wells County Fair is on a nine-town horse-racing circuit that is attracting large crowds. Horse racing was popular in the larger towns in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Now it is becoming a major attraction at rural county fairs.
Track and Field Event Draws Big Crowd
Fargo, June 1896
North Dakota’s first track and field event has attracted 1,800 spectators in the downtown. Participating schools were the University, the AC, Red River University in Wahpeton, and Fargo College. The University carried the day.
Bicycling Rage Continues
The nation’s love affair with the bicycle has not missed North Dakota. It is the number one leisure-time activity. Towns have bicycle clubs and races. And it is dependable transportation; many farmers have purchased bicycles to visit neighbors or for their children to go to school, when weather permits. In Fargo we have a dozen bicycle shops and nearly 2,700 “peddling machines.”
Basketball No Longer a Girl’s Game
Several years after basketball was “invented” in 1892, North Dakota colleges and high schools organized girls’ basketball teams—in part because so many more girls than boys went to high school. Now most every high school that has five or six boys has a team that plays neighboring towns. Basketball as a girl’s sport is declining.
North Dakota Catches Baseball Fever
Baseball is king of sports in North Dakota and across the nation. Newspapers cover in detail the games of the National and American leagues and local teams are followed with a passion. Even the smallest of towns has a ball diamond, some with bleachers that fill to capacity. Fargo and Grand Forks have semi-professional teams that have some paid players and compete in organized leagues. Some teams have players, usually pitchers, who are brought in from out-of-state. They are not paid to play but are provided employment in a local business. Some are African- Americans. Most teams have no more than ten, some only nine, players.
What’s the best team in the state? Each town thinks it is. But recently the teams form the Fort Berthold Reservation, Williston, Cooperstown, and New England have been hard to beat.
High schools, colleges, reservations and towns all have baseball teams. “Let’s play ball,” echoes in every corner of North Dakota.
Hunting Rated as Excellent
Several men from Chicago are in this area on the chase for birds. They tell us that they have had an excellent hunt. North Dakota is considered to be a hunting paradise.
Tennis Courts Attract Enthusiasts
Grand Forks, 1901
The University has organized the state’s first tennis team. Tennis, mostly a woman’s activity, is not widespread in North Dakota. Courts are available only in the larger towns.
By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton
Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.