Grand Forks Fair in 1919


Two Grand Forks Boys to Thrill Thousands During North Dakota State Fair. For the first time in the history of fairs in North Dakota, two Grand Forks men will be the stars in the feature attractions classified among the spectacular performances on the program for the state exposition which opens in Grand Forks on July 15. Myron Bacon and Al Forseth, both local boys, born in this city, educated in the schools here and now aviators with enviable records gained on the battlefields of Europe, are to make daily flights. Since their return from the service they have appeared at several fairs throughout the northwest and in each instance were credited with staging an exhibition that surpassed in thrills any flight attempted before at North Dakota expositions.

Hobby With Forseth. Forseth has made the aeroplane his hobby since the air craft mode of travel was in the experimental stage and virtually, he has grown up with the development of the aerial game. When Thomas McGoey, Grand Forks electrician constructed a plane and made successful flights, Forseth was his mechanic. Later Forseth built two planes of his own. Prior to enlistment in the aerial service he was doing exhibition work for an air craft company. Bacon’s experience does not extend over so long a period but to this aviator credit is given for daring that has marked him as one of the most sensational performers that ever piloted a plane. In the service he was an instructor for many months and this experience, together with the participation in the more serious game at the front in northern France, has made him a master of his craft. Because of the fact that both young men are from Grand Forks, interest in their exhibition flights has reached a keener point than has ever been displayed for similar performances, not excepting the first aerial flight made here.

War-Time Stunts. Some of the war-time stunts, taught to the men who must depend upon their skill to defeat the foe in battle thousands of feet in the air, will be included in the program of aerial work planned by the young men. The fact that the aviators are from Grand Forks and will be performing for their friends for the first time, will also mean much to the aviators who are determined to be at their best and make their exhibition here, just a little more spectacular and thrilling than any they have given in the past. (Grand Forks Herald, Thursday, July 10, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 215, Page 7)

Good Weather and Big Crowds Greet Opening of Fair. Air Flights Are Success. The two airplane flights by Al Forseth were real thrillers. Myron Bacon, Mr. Forseth’s team-mate, was booked to fly yesterday, but serious engine trouble kept him on the ground. Forseth gave two beautiful and two thrilling flights. In both, he did the difficult and dangerous Immelmann turns, as well as the thrilling nose dive. “Mose” Rosensweig came to the fore in the early afternoon as the country’s first airplane stowaway. While Forseth was away from the machine, “Mose” sneaked into the front seat and crouched down so he could not be seen. When Forseth started up, he did not know Mose was there until he got up about 100 feet, when Mose thrust his head up. “Get out and walk,” shouted Forseth, but Mose strapped himself in and he couldn’t jump. So he got a few thrills, but he insists he was not seasick. (Grand Forks Herald, Wednesday, July 16, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 220, Page 1)

Record Breaking Crowd Expected Today at State Fair. Two Plane Flights. Two thrilling airplane flights were made yesterday by Myron Bacon, one of the International Fliers. Both Bacon and Forseth will fly this afternoon, it was announced yesterday. Bacon was unable to make a flight Tuesday because of serious engine trouble, but he more than made up for his delay yesterday. During the morning he made a trial flight, and for the few minutes he was up he packed in enough thrills to keep the crowd on the grounds guessing. At 1 o’clock, he made the first of his regular flights and it proved one of the finest and most thrilling airplane flights ever seen here. He performed the dangerous Immelmann turn, did a wonderful tail spin and several beautiful loops. At 5 o’clock, he made his second flight, during which he repeated many of the thrilling stunts. (Grand Forks Herald, Thursday, July 17, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 221, Page 1)

Aviators Give Best Flights. Bacon and Forseth Add Sensations to Days’ Program With Stunts. Featuring two of the prettiest nose dives ever seen in the state, Lieutenants Al Forseth and Myron Bacon, “The International Fliers,” yesterday afternoon presented the first double flight ever staged at a North Dakota State Fair. Bacon did some exceptional flying and his daredevil turns and twists kept the crowd anxiously watching every dip of his machine. Forseth took his flights somewhat higher but had perfect control of his machine at all times and did a loop that could not have been more perfect. As soon as it had been announced that the men would fly, the eager crowd watched the field from which, in a few seconds, the planes gracefully took the air and began climbing. After getting height, the men circled for a few minutes and then started the show. For the first time in Grand Forks, the spectators saw a triple loop, when Bacon, from a dizzy altitude, took them one after another coming dangerously near the ground just in front of the stand but catching the machine at the right moment and sliding away from the crowd. Forseth’s nose dive was a clever act, for he made the machine turn, twist and roll as it came, head on, towards the grounds at a high rate of speed. The fact that both fliers and Grand Forks men and known by most of the crowd, added much to the sensationalism of the stunts. (Grand Forks Herald, Friday, July 18, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 222, Page 12)

Fair Closes Tonight With Special Fireworks Display. Last night’s program started with an airplane flight by Myron Bacon. He gave one of the finest flights of the week – a flight in which he performed several beautiful loops. He also did some excellent low flying, which gave the spectators a fine close-up view of his machine. (Grand Forks Herald, Saturday, July 19, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 223, Page 1)

Biggest Saturday Attendance Views Auto Races, Airplane Flights and Fireworks Show. Officials Declare Exhibits and Amusement Features Dwarfed All Former Years; Much Praise and Little Criticism Received. Flights Are Sensational. While the track was being ironed out, there was a double airplane flight by Myron Bacon and Al Forseth. It was a flight that proved the most brilliant and most thrilling ever seen in this city. For an hour, the aviators kept the spectators on the keen edge of excitement. Bacon’s sensational loops and dives and turns when flying low were especially thrilling. (Grand Forks Herald, Sunday, July 20, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 224, Page 1)

Airmen Make Sensational Fair Flights. Bacon and Forseth Keep Crowd Going With Thrilling Stunts. In what the grand stand crowd unanimously declared the most thrilling flights on the week, Lieutenants Myron Bacon and Al Forseth, “International Fliers,” pulled tail spins, triple loops, spiral twists and thrilling low flying in front of the grand stand at the last afternoon session of the North Dakota State Fair. Their afternoon flights were longer than usual because of the delay in starting the races. Bacon’s low flying alone kept the crowd “on its nerves,” but he reached the climax of his performance when he looped between two of the poles being used for the fireworks screen and came through, not only alive but flying daintily over the stand. The posts are not over fifteen feet apart, and when he took the trip between them sideways, one could have heard a pin drop in the grand stand, the crowd was so silent. Emerging from this little jaunt, he glided gracefully over the tips of the poles, circled the flag pole on the Liberal Arts building and was then forced to land to take on gas. When he again went up he put his machine through a seemingly endless program of twisting and whirling tricks that kept the crowd guessing until he finally landed.

Nose Dives and Loops. Forseth also made some great flights, featuring a nose dive and a triple loop that was one of the most sensational and prettiest twists that can be imagined. With perfect control of his machine, he looped once, and from the crowd went a chorus of “Ah’s;” then he looped again, a little lower and, as the crowd watched breathlessly, he looped again. His low flights were also a sensation of the afternoon. A race down the home stretch of the race track with Sig Haugdahl in his Fiat, furnished plenty of thrills for everyone, in spite of the fact that at the end of the stretch he went straight ahead instead of turning, as the track is rather small for a sharp turn and fast driving. The evening’s flights were somewhat shorter, but full of thrills and the crowd’s longing for sensations was satisfied. Howard Monley of Grand Forks, made the trip with Lieutenant Forseth in the evening, while Mrs. Bacon accompanied Lieutenant Bacon. The boys will leave after supper tonight for Fargo, where they will fly all week at the Fargo fair. (Grand Forks Herald, Sunday, July 20, 1919, Volume XXXVIII, Number 224, Page 8).

Young Grand Forks Aviator Has State Fair Dumbfounded. Jerry Bacon, Battle Front Aviator Performs Wonderful Feats of Daring. Just about the most nervy aeroplane exhibition ever staged in the state or in many states for that matter, was that put on by Lieut. Jerry Myron Bacon, son of Jerry Bacon, owner of the Dacotah hotel at Grand Forks, during the North Dakota state fair, just finished. The young man is a battle front post graduate and recently returned to the states and it was as part of the feature program of the big fair that he consented to give the exhibition. What he didn’t do no one ever did. He seemed to enjoy making a tail spin to within 50 feet of the big fair crowd and then ducking upward to the amazement of the throng. While going at a rate of about 150 miles per hour at a low altitude he suddenly commenced to spin around the flagpole on the judges stand and the grandstand crowd gasped in astonishment. Loop-the-loop is usually done at high altitude but this daring aviator looped-the-loop in all positions directly over the heads of the spectators, did figure eights and had his daddy wondering what “that fool boy is going to do next.” C. W. Jewett of Bemidji, a veteran in the auto race game, has seen many exhibitions of aircraft but the one he saw Bacon give at Grand Forks had him hanging on the ropes of a pop corn stand. Then to make it a good one “that boy” forced a landing and got his bride of two weeks for an air trip and did the same thing over again. “Beat everything I ever saw, and I thought I’d seen some,” quoted Mr. Jewett with an unusual seriousness. (The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Wednesday Evening, July 23, 1919, Volume XVII, Number 173, Page 1)


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