|Conference focuses on history, legacy of Nonpartisan League|
The University of North Dakota will play host to a conference next week that will focus on the history and impacts of the Nonpartisan League, a popular political movement that originated in North Dakota in the early 20th Century.
The conference, titled "The Nonpartisan League at 90," will begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Memorial Union's Fred Orth Lecture Bowl with a visual presentation by Dave Britton, Grand Fork, on grain elevators of the Great Plains.
All conference events are free and open to the public. However, so that there might be an accurate count for break times, please call 777-6230, or e-mail email@example.com to let organizers know who is planning to attend. UND students are eligible for one course credit for participating in the seminar. Students interested in participating can call history professor Kimberly Porter at 777-6230, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nonpartisan League believed that at least one of North Dakota's mills, grain elevators, banks and other farm-related industries should be controlled by the state and thus, ultimately, the people, to reduce the power of corporate political interests. It was organized politically in 1915 by a Beach, N.D., farmer and former Socialist party organizer A. C. Townley.
"Its members firmly believed that the out-of-state businesses that controlled the elevators, mills, banks, etc., had only themselves in mind and did not take into consideration the needs of the farmers of North Dakota, about whom they knew nothing," Porter said.
Below is a rundown of the remaining conference events:
Friday, Oct. 10:
* 9 a.m., Charles M. Barber, Northeastern Illinois University, emeritus, “From Elliot Ness to Dear Abby: William Langer as NPL Attorney General in North Dakota, 1917-1920”
* 9:30 a.m., Travis Nygard, University of Pittsburgh, history, “Nonpartisan League Visual Culture and the Birth of Betty Crocker”
* 10 to 10:15 a.m., break
* 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.
- Richard Whaley, University of Wisconsin-Fon-du-lac, history, “Stephen Joseph Doyle and Wartime Democracy in North Dakota during the 1918 Gubernatorial Election”
- Kim E. Higgs, University of North Dakota, aerospace, “The Nonpartisan League Leader’s Role in the Development of the Nonpartisan League”
- Richard K. Stenberg, Williston State University, history, “A Real Republican: The Political Life of Governor George F. Shafer”
- Lloyd Omdahl, University of North Dakota, political science, emeritus, “The Switch of the Nonpartisan League to the Democratic Column”
11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch
Sandwich and Salad Buffet
Reservations required, $11/person
* 1 p.m., Curt Hanson, University of North Dakota, senior archivist, Chester Fritz Library, “Researching the League”
* 2 p.m., Eric Bergeson, Fertile, Minn., independent scholar, “What Made Bill Langer Tick?”
* 2:30 p.m., Gordon L. Iseminger, University of North Dakota, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, history, “The NPL’s Home Building Association, 1919-1923: Its Legacy"
* 3 to 3:15 p.m., break
* 3:15 p.m., Robert C. Carlson, president, North Dakota Farmers’ Union
“The Farmers’ Union and the NPL: A Common Heritage”
* 3:45 p.m., Thomas Contois, Washington, D.C., independent scholar, “A Triumph of American Politics: Subduing Popular Democracy on the Northern Plains”
* 4:15 p.m., Robert L. Caulkins, Sr., University of North Dakota, history, “The Role of the NPL-Led Council of Defense in Preserving Civil Liberties in World War I”
* 4:45 p.m., Kimberly K. Porter, University of North Dakota, history, “The NPL as Impetus for the American Farm Bureau Federation”
* 5:15 to 7 p.m., break
* 7 p.m., film, “Northern Lights"