North Dakota January 18, 2018
Rare Footage In 1930 Shows North Dakota In A Completely Different Way
Everyone in North Dakota knows about our unique state capitol building in the city of Bismarck. The “skyscraper on the prairie,” as they call it. It has been our state capitol building for decades. What some people haven’t seen is the original North Dakota capitol building, and what even fewer people have seen is what happened to it on the fateful day of December 28, 1930.
Early that day, a janitor working in the capitol was the first to notice that the building had caught on fire on one of the upper floors. The fire department arrived quickly after he called, but it was already too late. North Dakota's beautiful capitol building, built in 1883, was burning to the ground. Some stories from this incident include insane feats to save important documents, like Robert Byrne - ND's Secretary of State at the time - suffering from cuts and burns to save the original copy of the state's constitution from the fire.
Rare footage from the
State Historical Society of North Dakota
was published on Youtube last month on the anniversary of the incident, and you can now view it here:
This film includes the footage of the building burning as well as the aftermath: removing the cornerstone and dynamiting the rest of the structure. After this video was shot, construction began on the new capitol building – the one we have today – and was completed in 1934.
It’s amazing that we are able to view this footage all these years later of a day that is such an important part of the Peace Garden State’s history. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a film truly shows the devastation that occurred, and the reason we have our current capitol building.
Check out more old
video footage taken in North Dakota to bring light to a time since passed.