Though North Dakota has done plenty in its history, and continues to do so, there are some specific things our state pioneered. Whether it be inventions or even laws, North Dakota was the first to do these 6 things.
1. Changed the way meat was transported
The biggest tourist town in the state, Medora, is named after the wife of a French man who had not only a large impact on the state, but the meat industry as well. Marquis de Mores, the man, moved to North Dakota and staked quite a bit of land to start a cattle ranch. He realized while doing this that shipping the live cattle in rail cars to the east coast stockyards for processing was quite inefficient. His revolutionary idea was to process the meat right there on his farm, then ship the pre-packaged meat in train cars full of ice to wherever it needed to go. Unfortunately, the east coast stockyard owners were none too thrilled about this. They worried it would ruin their business, so they refused to buy meat from him, ultimately causing him to give up on his ranching endeavors.
2. The very start of Kodak
That timeless name may make a little more sense now. A North Dakotan man named David Henderson Houston invented the Kodak camera and sold it to the founder of the company, George Eastman. The name came from the letters in 'Dakota,' as well as Eastman's desire for a name that was easy to remember, unique, and would become a household name.
3. The first mosque in the United States
This one may come as a surprise to most. It is believed that the first mosque in the entire United States was built in North Dakota, just outside the small town of Ross. The original structure was torn down some decades ago and now this building stands in its place. The original building was built by homesteaders just like all the others coming to the state - seeking land and a better life. Many people come to see it today for its special place in history.
4. License plate tabs
Whether you call them tabs, tags, stickers, or otherwise - every car on the road in the country requires an up-to-date one. This started in none other than North Dakota by a DMV worker named Lenard Milo. It started as a requirement in this state only, then spread to everywhere else. Interestingly enough, the entire story of the tags is written out on Milo's gravestone.
5. State-run banks
North Dakota was the first, and remains the only, state to have a state-run bank. The Bank of North Dakota was established in 1919 to help promote industry growth in the state from anything to the agriculture industry to other forms of commerce.
6. Official laws for use of police drones
This was big news more recently. North Dakota was the first state to put a law in the books about the use of police drones. A common misconception is that they were the first to allow police drones with nonlethal weapons (such as tasers), but other states allow them, too, usually because there are no laws prohibiting them. North Dakota was just the first state to make any sort of law regarding the subject. The law also states that lethal weapons are prohibited, which most other states do not have a law against.
Did any of these surprise you? Some of them certainly did me! The name ‘Kodak’ makes a lot more sense now, that’s for sure.