North Dakota

Drunken college students invade sleepy town, cause riot

May 9, 1969
Zap, North Dakota
College students begin their spring break in-state, wreaking havoc and eventually being dispersed by the National Guard 2 days later

The event was organized by Chuck Stroup, a student at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Zip to Zap, as it was called, was intended to bring spring break revelries to the students, rather than the traditional, more expensive option of traveling to Florida.

On Friday, May 9, students from local colleges began arriving in Zap, a quiet town of about 350 people at the time (and approximately 237 as of 2010). Upwards of 3,000 students arrived to spend the weekend, becoming drunk and disorderly almost immediately. Public urination and vomiting was commonplace. Drunken students combatting the cold temperatures at night started a bonfire in the middle of town. Buildings were destroyed or damaged to the point they needed to be demolished and rebuilt.

Mayor Norman Fuchs and some local citizens addressed the students, asking them to leave. The majority complied, though approximately approximately 1,000 remained. To disperse the remaining students, Governor William Guy called in around 500 troops from the National Guard, and the town was cleared of hungover students with minimal resistance. Mayor Fuchs estimated only 300 of the 3,000 students had caused trouble or damage.

Though no casualties or injuries were reported, over $25,000 (around $170,000 in 2018) worth of damage was caused. The student governments of local universities (North Dakota State University and University of North Dakota) paid for the damages inflicted by their students.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s