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Press Release - Local History Awardees Honored at Governor’s Conference on North Dakota History

Contact: Danielle Stuckle

Local History Awardees Honored at Governor’s Conference on North Dakota History

BISMARCK – Awards honoring achievements related to North Dakota history were presented at the 26th annual Governor’s Conference on North Dakota History in October at the Heritage Center in Bismarck. The conference was sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Awards in two categories were recognized including Excellence in Local History and the Heritage Profile Honor Award.

The Excellence in Local History Award recognizes those associated specifically with local, county, and regional historical organizations within North Dakota whose activity serves as a role model of excellence to others. The 2014 recipients include Keith Norman of Jamestown and Lois Berndt from Wahpeton. Norman was recognized for his work with the 20th Infantry and Fort Seward Interpretive Center in Jamestown. He is also known for his interpretation of the historic figure “Limpy” Jack, his syndicated radio program, newspaper column, and a book titled “Great Stories of the Great Plains.” Lois Berndt was recognized for more than 33 years of local history work including publishing “A History of Brandenburg Township,” volunteer work at the Richland County Historical Museum and serving on the board of directors, the development of the Richland County Museum’s Rosemeade Interpretive Center, chairing the North Dakota Pottery Convention, a variety of educational programs, and a column for the Daily News of Wahpeton and Breckenridge.

The Heritage Profile Honor Award recognizes individuals who have made a lasting or significant contribution in researching and writing the history of North Dakota. The 2014 recipient is Barbara Handy-Marchello, Ph.D., who was nominated for making significant contributions to North Dakota history over the years as a historian, professor, author, curriculum developer, and museum volunteer at the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Handy-Marchello won the Caroline Bancroft Award in 2006 for her book, “Women of the Northern Plains: Gender and Settlement on the Homestead Frontier 1870-1930.” She has also been instrumental in the development of new curriculum by the North Dakota Studies program including the high school textbook, “North Dakota History: Readings about the Northern Plains State” and the new Grade 8 curriculum, “North Dakota: People Living on the Land.”

Local History Awards are presented annually at the Governor’s Conference on North Dakota History. Nominations can be made anytime throughout the year, and are due the second Friday in July. Nominations not received by the due date will be considered for awards the following year. For more information about the Local History Award program, contact Danielle Stuckle at 701.328.2794 or, or visit the State Historical Society of North Dakota’s website at

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