Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Frigid climate sparks Senate campaign, contest

Considering the recent polar weather systems ravaging the Midwest, I thought this Associated Press story from the Feb. 20, 1989 East Oregonian was appropriate (and amusing):

Byron Chamberlain, a high school assistant football coach from Sheridan, Wyo., was declared the winner of a tongue-in-cheek contest sponsored by the Billings (Mont.) Gazette to rename the state of North Dakota.

The contest was a response to North Dakota state Sen. Tim Mathern’s campaign to rename his state “Dakota.” Mathern said he wanted to dispel the notion that North Dakota was “some sort of arctic wasteland,” and blamed the word “North” in the name for the misconception. The 159 Gazette readers who entered the contest, however, for the most part made suggestions based on North Dakota’s famously frigid winters.

Among the entries were “Darn Dacolda,” “Zipdacoatup,” “Weardakotandhat,” “Saskatchacolda,” “Subtopia” and, bluntly, “Land of the Frozen Dead.”

Chamberlain’s winning entry? “Manitscolda.”

Chamberlain won a one-way bus ticket from Billings to Bismarck, N.D., or the cash equivalent of $45. He took the cash. Considering the high temperature in Bismarck of 5 degrees that weekend, it was a smart move.

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