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A Towering Shadow Across The Prairie

KVLY-TV mast.In a state where almost everything is flat, the KVLY-TV tower in Blanchard, North Dakota, is an exceptional anomaly. Not only is it vertical, it’s more vertical than any other man-made thing on the planet.

Or it was, until this week.

With the unveiling of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai on January 1, North Dakota’s best has been bested by a reported 654 feet.

We don’t usually question claims to fame. But let’s be frank; Dubai hasn’t exactly been a model of rectitude recently. And boasts of see-how-tall-I-am are sometimes prone to embellishment. Is the Burj Khalifa more exaggeration than elevation? Until someone visits both Dubai and North Dakota with a really long tape measure, no one will know for sure.

Even if the KVLY-TV tower really has been bumped down to second place, it may not be there forever. North Dakota’s pride suffered that indignity before, when a Warsaw Radio mast in Poland rose above the KVLY-TV tower in 1974. And then the Polish mast fell down. We would never invoke powerful hoodoo to jinx the Burj Khalifa, but maybe the KVLY-TV tower stopped where it did for a reason?

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