Norman Midboe Papers, 1959-1985
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Brief Description:

The Norman Midboe Papers consist of materials documenting the history of airports in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Included are two scrapbooks - one brown and one white - which contain newspaper clippings (primarily from the Grand Forks Herald), photographs, and assorted certificates and letters relating to the history of the new Grand Forks International Airport from its inception ca. 1960 up to the mid-eighties. The first ("Brown") scrapbook covers the period spanning September 29, 1959 to September 22, 1968, and numbers 213 pages. Items of particular interest include coverage of the local politics and the funding controversy surrounding the construction of the new airport, photographs and written descriptions of the construction process, as well as the day to day goings-on, including the airport's dealings with Northwest Airlines. The second ("White") scrapbook picks up on September 24, 1968, and carries through until June 14, 1985. This book contains 180 pages and is slightly larger than the first one. Unique items in this volume include a letter of appreciation to Midboe from President Richard Nixon, aerial photographs of the local area, as well as cards and letters received by Midboe on the occasion of his retirement.

Another item, a speech by Midboe entitled "Airport History: Old Grand Forks International Airport", was delivered at the Grand Forks Aviator's Pioneer Banquet on February 28, 1976. Beginning with its origin sometime in the 1920s as a "cow pasture type airport", Midboe briefly traces the evolution of Grand Forks International up to the early sixties when existing infrastructure proved inadequate to handle heavy modern airliners, and the city government constructed a new airfield west of Grand Forks. Key areas of focus within the speech include airport facilities, individuals affiliated with the airport during its formative period, the connection between Northwest Airlines and the Grand Forks community, and the role the airport played in training pilots for the Army Air Force during World War II. Midboe also touches on the role the airport played within the local economy as a base for crop-dusters and as a designated entry point for aircraft arriving from Canada.

Lastly, the collection also includes a folder containing sixteen photographs - one original and fifteen stored electronically on a compact disc. These pictures showing scenes from the airport's history consist mainly of group portraits and aerial photographs of the Grand Forks area. Of special interest are some photos relating to the military pilot training program based at the Grand Forks airport during World War II.

Held at:
Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections
Chester Fritz Library
3051 University Ave Stop 9000
Grand Forks, ND 58202 9000
Phone: 701-777-4625
Fax: 701-777-3319
Email: und.archives [at]
Record Series Number: OGLMC/1518
Created by: Midboe, Norman (1922-2015)
Volume: 1.25 Linear Feet
Acquired: 05/03/2007.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Subject Index
Grand Forks
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Acquisition Notes: Norman Midboe, Grand Forks, North Dakota  Donation; 2007-2887
PreferredCitation: (Description of Item). Norman Midboe Papers. OGLMC 1518. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. Chester Fritz Library. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Finding Aid Revisions: Finding aid migrated to Archon in January 2013.