Lind: Pearl Harbor changed lives in North Dakota

In today's "Neighbors" column, a reader remembers the infamous day.

Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

Those who were around on that awful Dec. 7, 1941, will never forget it.

Orris “Bud” Kipp, Edgeley, N.D., was one of them.

Bud, who died last September at age 98, had written “Neighbors” after seeing a column about a guy who, while a young boy, hitchhiked a lot.

“That column,” he wrote, “reminded me of the days in 1941 when my brother and I were attending Dakota Business College in Fargo.

“We roomed and boarded at 914 10th St., and the college was on 8th Street just off Front Street (now Main Avenue).


“We walked to school every day, came back to our 10th Street place for dinner, and went back to school by 1 p.m.

“On weekends, if we wanted to go home to Edgeley, we hitchhiked. Our folks would bring us back to Fargo.

“One time we didn’t have much luck until a truck that had brought a load of cattle to West Fargo stopped for us, and we rode in the back as far as Jamestown, N.D., and found a ride from there to Edgeley.

“When we were living and going to school in Fargo, we would walk from 10th Street to the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday night. Sometimes we’d run, because if you arrived before 7 p.m., you got in free.”

Bud then tells of the day in December 1941 when he and his brother were walking down a Fargo street when chaos erupted. “Church bells, sirens and whatnot were blaring,” he says.

“Later in the day we found out the Japanese had bombarded Pearl Harbor.

“That changed our lives. Uncle Sam requested our services, and away we went, my brother to the Air Corps and me to the Signal Corps.

“After we returned, we joined our father in the automobile business until July 1986.


“My brother passed away in 1995.”

The next day

And this email comes from Verle Bleese, now of Seattle:

“The time was 9 a.m. and the date was Dec. 8, 1941.

“I was in the sixth grade classroom of Miss Peterson at Agassiz grade school, Fargo.

“She had just completed taking the roll when she received a message from Mr. R.D. Brown’s office. Mr. Brown was the principal of Agassiz grade school and also Agassiz Junior High School, both in the same building.

“The message was that the entire grade school should assemble in the auditorium classroom of Mrs. Brady, which was in the older part of the building.

“The room had no desks, just tables and chairs which were moved to accommodate all six grades.

“A small radio/phonograph was on a table in the front of the room. There Mr. Brown told us that we were there to listen to a speech by President Roosevelt speaking to Congress, asking them to declare war on the empire of Japan.


“Mr. Brown told us to listen closely, as his (the president’s) speech is one that we would never forget.

“How right he was.”

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email

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