Mandan News

Diane Boit: Sandy Syvrud is Homecoming Queen, 1962


25 Years Ago – 1987

This year’s Mad Market Day winners of the merchants’ costume contest have been announced. Taking the first prize of $100 was Sandy Hoffman as the Jolly Green Giant at Pat’s Foods; the second prize of $50 was awarded to Shirley Zimmer dressed as a Pumpkin at the Ben Franklin Store; the $25 third prize went to Tom Sitter as Raggedy Andy at Pat’s Foods. The winner of the owner-manager’s contest was Pat Sitter in a Teddy Bear costume, also at Pat’s Foods.


50 Years Ago – 1962

The celebration of Mandan High School’s Homecoming 1962 began with Sandy Syvrud being chosen queen by the student body from the five senior girls nominated by the boys of the senior class. A pep rally was held Friday afternoon at the high school gymnasium, followed by the traditional homecoming parade which marched through downtown Mandan with the MHS band leading the way for the queen and her royal court who were seated upon convertibles furnished by Mike Sick, Les Helm and John Gehring. Colorful floats in the parade were also displayed by the three high school classes and various school organizations.

Mandan’s homecoming queen was crowned during the halftime break of the evening’s football game against the Minot Magicians. Sandy Syvrud was escorted by Rusty Kruger, senior class president, to her royal throne on the 50-yard line where Coach Bill Zwarych officially crowned the queen. Four-year-old Sally Jo Vickers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pat Vicker, carried the crown, which had been made by the MHS Courier staff.

However, that beautiful fall day didn’t end perfectly. The Braves homecoming game was ruined by the Magicians, as they marched to a 40-9 victory, making the season count 0-3 for the Braves football team. The outstanding play of the game was that of a Minot player galloping for 77 yards in the wrong direction, and then being tackled in the end zone by Mandan’s tailback Jim Beers for a safety, giving Mandan two of its nine points. Mandan’s lone touchdown came from “Butch” Ressler in the fourth quarter. Mike Dorscher kicked the extra point.

After the game, students and players gathered at the Elks Ballroom for a dance, sponsored by the senior girls. Music was provided by the Chevrons.

1962 Homecoming Royalty (l-r) Diane Wainio, Kathy Hovland, Queen Sandy Syvrud, Beverly Boyd, Gail Brunelle. Standing in front is the crown bearer, Sally Jo Vickers.

A photo from a 1962 issue of the Mandan News showing the MHS Marching Band, coming down Sixth Avenue N.W. to begin the Homecoming Parade.

75 Years Ago – 1937

C.F. Kelsch, Mandan attorney, has been elected commander of Gilbert F. Furness Post No. 40 of the American Legion, Mandan. He succeeds J.J. Murray.

Elected presidents of Mandan’s Junior and Senior High classes are: Ray Toman, senior; Eileen Clark, junior; Alma Craig, sophomore; Gordon Anderson, freshman; Dorothy Sakariassen, eighth grade; and Marjorie Dow, seventh grade.

An electric iron, left heating on an iron board, burned through the board and cloth covering, which resulted in large clouds of black smoke spilling from the home of D. R. Groom, 803 Fifth Ave. N.W. The alarm turned in by Patrolman Brunelle, brought the fire department and a great crowd of the curious. Although her baby was asleep in another room, Mrs. Groom was not at home at the time, having stepped out to visit a neighbor. Little damage was caused, except to the iron board.

Numerous complaints are coming into the office of the states attorney regarding the operation of pinball machines in Mandan and Morton County. “We have successfully chased the slot machines out of the county,” said States Attorney James M. Hanley, “and we are not going to permit pinball machines to take their place.”

Three of the four likenesses of American presidents have been cut into the granite of South Dakota’s Black Hills. The dedication of the Lincoln head was held this past week at Mount Rushmore. According to sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the figure of Theodore Roosevelt, the fourth president, has been blocked out for future completion. The monument’s construction began in the fall of 1927.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Snow on Thursday morning? (Sept. 26) Just enough of it to see, but Mandan is getting out lucky for in some sections of the state some really heavy snowfalls have been reported. The eastern section of North Dakota, including Valley City, received up to five inches of the beautiful white stuff.

“Owing to the rain, mud, cold and hundreds of other setbacks which have helped to spoil the accustomed glory of the Missouri Slope Fair, the directors of the fair association feel that it would be better to cancel the remaining scheduled events rather than run over another day. Although the financial outlook is rather cloudy, the directors feel they have succeeded remarkably well in spite of the adverse conditions.

“Jay E. Caley was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail and to pay a fine of $200 and costs by Judge S. L. Nuchols Tuesday morning for the violation of the state law regarding the sale of intoxicating liquor. Caley, who was employed at one of the stables near the racetrack, had decided that he could easily increase his salary, and secured two casks of beer. This he dispensed at 35 Cents a bottle at the horse barns near the fairgrounds. He apparently reaped a golden harvest for when he was taken in charge on Saturday, the casks were nearly empty.”


125 Years Ago – 1887

The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1887 the population was already nearing the 2,500 mark.

September 28, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 69 degrees above zero.

“At the meeting of the Board of Education, it was resolved to publish Sec’s 104 and 105, page 137, of the Session Laws of 1887, of the Territory of Dakota:

“Every parent, guardian or other person in charge of any child between the ages of 10 and 14 years is required to send such child to a public school at least 12 weeks in each school year, 6 weeks of which shall be consecutive, unless such child be excused from such attendance by the director by reason of bodily or mental infirmity…or that no public school is taught for the time required within two miles by the nearest traveled road of the home of such person.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email