Jackie Flaten says
Backstory: A North Dakota State University student newspaper editor
thought it would be funny to promote Zap, N.D., a teeny tiny town
smack dab in the middle of nowhere, as an ideal alternative to the
customary spring break site of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. When the AP
picked up his article, things got out of hand – high school and
college students descended en masse, beer flowed freely and things
pretty much went downhill from there.
The "Zap-in" happened a couple months before Woodstock — one of the
originators mused, 15 years later, perhaps something was "in the air,
calling the tribes…"
North Dakota native Chris Breitling produced a documentary while he
was a film student — the film, Zap Revisited, is now available for
the first time on DVD in commemoration of the 40th anniversary.
The YouTube link shows a two-minute clip of the student documentary,
Zap Revisited, which looks at this event, originators and small-town
From the Zap Revisited Web site:
In the spring of 1969 an estimated 3,000 young people descended on the tiny prairie town of Zap, N.D., for a spring break blow-out. What started as an off-beat idea for a party ended with National Guard troops expelling the revelers from Zap and the nearby towns of Beulah and Hazen, creating a national media sensation.
Zap Revisited, a documentary by West Fargo, N.D., native Chris Breitling recalls the strange-but-true story of the "Zip to Zap", aka the "Zap-In" through the memories of people who took part in this uniquely infamous episode of North Dakota history. Breitling produced Zap Revisited as a graduate film student while at Columbia College in the early 1990s.
In conjunction with the 40th anniversary, Outcast Studios is making this DVD available to anyone interested in this unlikely High Plains tale set in the tumultuous spring of 1969.