North Dakota has a rich history that many of us are familiar with at least in part, but did you know about these interesting facts about our state’s history? Take a look and see if you learn something new!
1. We made the most snow angels at the same time in the same place
February 17, 2007- On the state capitol grounds in Bismarck, ND, 8,962 people all made snow angels at the same time. I mean, we have to do SOMETHING with all the snow we get; why not have a little fun?
2. There was more than one attempt to take the "North" out of "North Dakota"
In both 1947 and 1989, state legislators tried to take the North out of our state name. Obviously, they failed both times and we still aren't just "Dakota," which, by the way, is the Sioux word for "ally."
3. We had the tallest man-made structure in the world for a while
Although the record was taken by the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai in 2010, the KVLY-TV mast used to be the tallest man-made structure in the world at a staggering 2,063 feet high. It's still the tallest structure in the western hemisphere!
4. Our record-setting high and low temperatures occurred in the same year
The highest temperature ever recorded in ND was 121 F, and the lowest was -60 F, both of which were recorded in 1936, believe it or not! That must have been one hectic year in terms of weather.
5. We will never know if North Dakota became a state before or after South Dakota
Both of the states were admitted to the union on the same day, at the same time, by former President Benjamin Harrison, but he shuffled the papers to be signed and picked one at random, then never revealed which one was signed in first. North Dakota is still traditionally listed first. Hah, take that, South Dakota!
6. Fargo was originally called "Centralia"
It doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but Fargo was in fact originally named "Centralia" until it was changed to be named after Wells Fargo founder and Northern Pacific Railway director William Fargo.
7. Lake Sakakawea has some its own interesting history
Other than being ND's largest man-made lake, Lake Sakakawea also has some other interesting facts. If you stretched out its coastline, it would be longer than California's coastline. There are also two towns underneath the lake that were covered when the lake first formed- Van Hook and (old) Sanish.
8. North Dakota would be the world's third strongest nuclear power in the world if it seceded from the US
We're nothing to be messed with! Apparently there are over 1,700 nuclear warheads stored in various locations around North Dakota, although many missile silos today are probably empty and no longer used. The image shows a missile control center at the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site near Cooperstown, ND.
9. Pembina was the first permanent settlement in North Dakota
European settlers started Pembina all the way back in 1797, and the first post office in the whole state was built there in 1851. For a while it was believed to be part of Canadian territory until it was determined in 1823 that it was actually part of the US. Back then it was the most populous town in the state, but now it has less than 600 residents.
10. Lewis and Clark encountered their first grizzly bears in ND
As we know, this famous pair had a lot of influence and history in North Dakota, but did you know they encountered their first grizzlies in North Dakota? They found the grizzly bears not far from Fort Mandan. Clark described one of the bears as a "verry large and turrible looking animal, which we found verry hard to kill [
Did you learn anything new? What other interesting things do you know about the history of North Dakota? Share with us in the comments!