Mandan experienced a resurgence of civic service, with a record number of fraternal and service clubs and members, evident in the number and size of New Year parties at the downtown Elks building, the Moose Home, Knights of Columbus (KC) Hall, American Legion Hall, Veterans of Foreign Wars Club, Eagles Club. The Revelers Club celebrated at the Mandan Country Club.
After several prior attempts, the citizens of Mandan in a margin of almost two to one approved the move to Central Standard Time on a year round basis starting May 15.
A record-breaking 74⁰F on March 28 hastened the breakup of the ice on the Missouri River on April 5. A huge ice jam on the Heart River resulted in water backing up over Highway 10 to a depth of two feet, forcing the closure of floodgates and stopping all traffic to Bismarck. With more than 400 Republican conventioners staying in Mandan, the Northern Pacific Railway came to the rescue by adding a half dozen special commuter trains between Mandan and Bismarck to transport the delegates to and from the convention center.
A new gymnasium and more classrooms were added to Mandan's Senior High School building's north side. The gym in the $290,000 structure seats more than 2,000 people for basketball games and includes storage areas and complete athletic facilities including showers, lockers, etc.
With the stay-at-home mom the norm, Morton County boasted no less than five homemakers clubs including the Rock Haven Homakers Club, Almont Homemakers Club, Fort McKeen Club, Big Bend Homemakers Club and the Highland Homemakers Club.
Mandan elected its first woman to the City Commission in April. Mrs. Dolores Pierce joined incumbent Mr. George Schantz who successfully won re-election.
Six community civil defense shelters were established in Morton County, including four within Mandan's city limits in April. The fallout shelters were established in the basement of the Lewis and Clark Hotel, the Mandan Creamery, St. Joseph School, and the Courthouse. Black Motor Sales in New Salem and Hebron Motors, Inc. of Hebron hosted sites for rural areas of the county. Each shelter would hold up to 1,100 people. Cartons of rations, sanitary and medical supplies were stored there, courtesy of the Department of Defense.
Civil Defense Logo
Direct Distance Dialing came to Mandan in July. A $1.5 million upgrade to the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company brought 7-number dialing to the city, the month after the same service started in Bismarck. The system replaced three and four number telephone numbers in use prior to that time. "663" was the first exchange prefix used in Mandan.
In February, firefighters battled for 3 hours to extinguish a major fire at the site of the historical Merchant Hotel located at 106 East Main St. The fire started in the basement, and quickly spread to both adjacent commercial buildings due to high winds. At the time, its was home to Ray's Bootery, owned and operated by Ray Mosbrucker. Other involved businesses included Seb's Shoe Repair and the vacant / former Friesz Grocery building.
Interstate 94 was completed including the second river crossing via the Grant Marsh Bridge. Like in most North Dakota cities, traffic was diverted off Main Street / ND Highway 10. The downtown central business district on both sides of the river would eventually be suffer with the migration of retail stores to stand alone shopping centers or commerical areas along interstate routes.
North Dakota experienced the "Storm of the Century" from March 2 to March 4 when a late spring blizzard struck the state. Over 22 inches of snow fell on the area. The Mandan Pioneer ran a special souvenir edition of the event.
The era of railroad steam engines took another step into the past when demolition experts blasted down the 165-foot high chimney in the Mandan railyards. The reinforced concrete chimney built for steam engine boiler drafting in 1928 by the Heine Chimney Company was toppled with dynamite by the same company.
Work was completed in January on the relocation of the Mandan to Flasher main line Northern Pacific railroad track. The $10 million (77.3 million 2016$) project included the installation of over 40 miles of track by two work teams, with the completion point near Fallon. Work was started on the project in September 1965. The US Army Corps of Engineers initiated to project to move it away impacts of Lake Oahe. The old track which meandered along the Cannonball and Missouri River for 67 miles will now be shorter by 22 miles. The original track was abandoned that spring.
Suffering through one of the most severe droughts in recent history, local farmers saw crop yields drop by about a third compared to typical yields.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 3102 37th St; PO Box 98; Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at email@example.com