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Harriet's Happenings 

Sterling Murdoch arrives in Walnut Grove planning to found a newspaper. The fledgling newspaper is The Pen and the Plow, and its star reporter is none other than one Harriet Olesen. At ... See full summary »


William F. Claxton


Blanche Hanalis (developed for television by), Laura Ingalls Wilder (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Landon ... Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle ... Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert ... Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Mary Ingalls (credit only)
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Sidney Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Richard Bull ... Nels Oleson
Katherine MacGregor ... Harriet Oleson
Alison Arngrim ... Nellie Oleson
Jonathan Gilbert ... Willie Oleson
Merlin Olsen ... Jonathan Garvey
Hersha Parady ... Alice Garvey
Patrick Labyorteaux ... Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (as Patrick Laborteaux)
Matthew Labyorteaux ... Albert Quinn Ingalls
Kevin Hagen ... Dr. Hiram Baker


Sterling Murdoch arrives in Walnut Grove planning to found a newspaper. The fledgling newspaper is The Pen and the Plow, and its star reporter is none other than one Harriet Olesen. At first, everyone including the Ingalls welcome the newspaper, but the completely inaccurate content of the "Harriet's Happenings" column soon has some people losing their enthusiasm. Nels reminds his wife that a reporter's job is to be accurate, but Mrs. Olesen suggests she's merely "reporting the fact that they are rumors"; he is even more frustrated when she suggests holding an unethical sale at the store. Later, Nellie loses a spot in the county's spelling bee to Erich Schiller, the son of German immigrants and outstanding student in his class. Mrs. Olesen is outraged and in her next column, writes a story suggesting that Erich's parents are illiterate. Erich is deeply upset by the story and it causes him to perform badly at the county spelling bee; he even drops out of school. With some help from ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

30 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Even though the Schiller family is suppose to be from the Austrian Empire, ironically, none of the actors spoke German as a native language. John Hillerman spoke Dutch. Although born to an Austrian mother, Lisa Pera had a Spanish father and maintains Spanish to her be her native origin. Ike Eisenmann was born in the United States; however, he has German and Austrian ancestry. See more »


"Repetitious" is spelled incorrectly at the spelling bee, yet nobody seems to notice. See more »


Harriet Oleson: [reading from the newspaper] "We have it from a very reliable source that Harriet Oleson's hair is not all her own, and neither are her teeth."
See more »


What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Words by Joseph M. Scriven (as Joseph Scriven) (1855)
Music by Charles Crozat Converse (as Charles C. Converse) (1868)
Sung by church congregation
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User Reviews

Walnut Grove first newspaper
2 August 2013 | by mitchrmpSee all my reviews

Harriet Oleson's second cousin has arrived in town planning to start a newspaper. Everyone is excited until it's discovered that he and Mrs. Oleson are cut from the same cloth. Harriet gets to write a column herself, but uses it to spread rumors and hurt people. Why Nels doesn't put his foot down and make her stop is beyond me...She is rather nasty in this episode. But when Laura and Albert turn the tables and make her the topic of gossip, she gets very upset and demands the children are punished. Now granted, the things they printed were nothing compared to what she did BUT they were about her - and that made all the difference!

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