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Sun, 12.11.1904

Ronald Davies, Lawyer and Judge born

Ronald Davies

*Ronald Davies was born on this date in 1904. He was a white-American lawyer and Judge. Ronald Davies was born in Grand Forks, ND.

A 1922 Grand Forks Central High School graduate, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota in 1927. Davies attended law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a Juris Doctorate in the spring of 1930. He returned to Grand Forks to begin his legal career and, in 1932, was elected to serve as a Municipal Judge for the city.

Davies’s law career was interrupted in 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army, serving as a 1st Lieutenant during World War II. In 1946, Davies returned home to Grand Forks, where he worked as a UND Law Professor and was a part-time Executive Director of the North Dakota Bar Association. In 1955, he was appointed U.S. District Judge for the District of North Dakota by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1957, he was temporarily re-assigned to assist the Arkansas District Court in alleviating the backlog of cases caused by the retirement of one of the federal district judges from that area.

That same year, Davies ordered a preliminary injunction (court order) against the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubas, barring him from using the Arkansas National Guard to block nine black students from attending Little Rock’s Central High School. Five days later, the Little Rock Nine were escorted by the 101st airborne division of the U.S. Army into Little Rock’s Central High School to attend classes. The New York Times called Judge Davies's ruling the “landmark decision on racial integration in our nation.”

Davies received many lifetime achievement awards, including the Outstanding Georgetown Law School Alumnus Award in 1958, the University of North Dakota Alumni Association’s Sioux Award in 1979, and the State of North Dakota Roughrider Award in 1987. Ronald Davies died in Fargo, North Dakota, on April 18, 1996, and is buried with his wife at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fargo. 

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