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Published February 15, 2010, 10:00 PM

COLUMNIST MARILYN HAGERTY: When sugar beet molasses kept cattle alive

In Grand Forks in 1935,, a total of 1,719 cattle bought by the federal government were shipped in to be converted into fresh meat for families on relief.

The name of Richard Bruno Hauptmann is not generally known in these times. But the name was on the mind of people everywhere as he was tried and convicted 75 years ago for the kidnapping and murder of the Charles and Anne Lindbergh baby.

These were the times when the nation was suffering from drought and depression. Here in Grand Forks, a total of 1,719 cattle bought by the federal government were shipped in to be converted into fresh meat for families on relief. The Grand Forks County drought relief committee met to pass on applications by county farmers for seed to be distributed by the federal government. County Agent William Page said his office would continue to accept requests.

In addition, the Herald carried stories of proposed work relief projects totaling more than $3 million in Grand Forks and Grand Forks County. Among projects proposed was the repair to what was called “the County Hospital and Poor Farm” at Arvilla, N.D.

It also was reported that many stockmen in Grand Forks County used sugar beet molasses for livestock feed during the winter. At the end of February 1935, six tanks of black strap molasses were ordered by the North Dakota Rural Rehabilitation Corp. to be used in combination with wheat straw as emergency feed.

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Life went on in spite of hard times and drought. Under the heading, “Good Old Days,” the Herald carried this story, “Frat initiates take to city jail to get much-needed sleep.”

“Two embryo members of the Sigma Chi fraternity found their way to get some sleep Saturday morning in spite of the initiation week. They were arraigned in an alley behind the YMCA. One was carrying a guinea pig and the other a rabbit.

“Both refused to answer questions, so police held them for the night.

“After a refreshing sleep, they told stories of getting no sleep at the fraternity house and their preference for the jail. They had been instructed to find a menagerie for the house and were working on it. They were released later in the morning.”

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Grand Forks was lively during February 1935:

Seventy-five of the Northwest’s leading ski jumpers took part in a tournament at the mammoth Lincoln Park ski slide. Then the biggest crowd ever assembled in the Arena watched a performance by Twin City ice skaters. … Local bowlers hosted the state tournament here. … And the Shrine Circus came to town for a week. … The 25th annual observance of Boy Scout Week was held here with a bean feed in St. Michael’s Church. And 125 members of seven Boy Scout troops in Greater Grand Forks took part in a roundup including a campfire program in Grand Forks Central High Auditorium.

Blonde and blue eyed Frances Forbes was crowned queen of the second annual Winter Carnival in Grand Forks. The Grand Forks Dragons, the sensational local hockey team, played the Elmwood Maple Leafs of Winnipeg during the celebration. … More than 100 members of the UND Alumni Club and their friends in Southern California attended a banquet and ball in the Los Angeles Tennis Club. …

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Names in the news 75 years ago:

** Dalton LaMasurier was station manager when Radio Station KFJM dedicated its new studio on the fourth floor of the First National Bank Building.

** Loyde Thompson was elected president of the Grand Forks YMCA, succeeding Dr. Ralph Leigh. Elroy Schroeder was named vice president. Eugene Lavoy was named board secretary, and Miles K. Lander was re-elected treasurer.

** Clem Letich’s UND Sioux smothered South Dakota State 49-31 for their fourth consecutive victory. Then, they trimmed the Bunnies in a second game, 46-35, in their drive for the conference title. They went on to defeat the Coyotes from the University of South Dakota 52-43. And they defeated the North Dakota Agricultural College from Fargo in two games to clinch the title.

** Ben Blanchette, university heavyweight, kept his title when Grand Forks’ second annual winter sports carnival was held with boxing events in the City Auditorium.

** Margaret Mullen and H.H. Herberger were married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law.

** Arrangements were made by E.A. Bostrom and John Dow for entertainment during the Bottlers Association convention held here in the Ryan Hotel.

** Phil Poppler led the university freshmen to victory in the annual Carney Song contest.