There’s a lot of history and statistics about North Dakota anyone who grew up here knows from school. Sometimes it’s fun to dive into some more obscure and interesting pieces of information that they probably never covered in class, like with these nine unusual facts.
1. North Dakota's official state dance is the square dance.
Alright, so maybe you sort of learned this one in school. Who remembers having to learn how to square dance in elementary school? What you might not have known is that square dancing is the official dance of the state. Better grab a partner!
2. North Dakota is known by many names for many reasons.
The Peace Garden state, the Roughrider state, the Flickertail state, Legendary... all of them are associated with North Dakota. Peace Garden, for being the location of the International Peace Garden. Roughrider, named after Theodore Roosevelt and his rough riding crew, but it wasn't named this until decades later as a tourism promotion. Flickertail is for the squirrels that are found here in North Dakota. It'll always be North Dakota, though. Well, except it almost wasn't when the "North" was proposed to be dropped from the name but failed to pass in court. Twice.
3. Less than 1% of the state is forested, the least amount of any state.
But we have lots of tree rows to make up for it! We can still boast about our trees - some of our forested areas are the prettiest in the country. Besides, there's nothing wrong with grasslands and prairies; those can be downright beautiful.
4. North Dakota is one of only 12 states to have just one area code.
The only area code in North Dakota is 701. Other states with only one code are Idaho, Vermont, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, and our southern neighbor South Dakota.
5. Turtle Lake, North Dakota stays true to its name by hosting the annual United States Turtle Racing Championships.
I don't think there's a more fitting place for a turtle racing champion. The championship is being held during the Turtle Days on July 8th through 10th this year - better start getting ready to place your bets!
6. North Dakota produces the most wind energy than any other state.
The wind here produces over 6.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. This amount can provide power to thousands of homes annually. This is already on top of all the oil and coal energy produced here.
7. The oldest county in North Dakota is Pembina county. The youngest is Grant county.
Pembina county was organized in 1867. Grant county was organized in 1916. Pembina is also where the very first European settlers came to in the entire Dakota territory.
8. The geographical center of North America is closer to Balta, ND than it is to Rugby, ND.
Rugby holds claim to having the geographical center of the entire continent, with a monument built to mark it, but the actual center is about 15 miles southwest of the town. That spot is only 6 miles west of the smaller town Balta.
9. The man that the city of Fargo is named after never visited the city himself.
William George Fargo was the Northern Pacific Railway director who the bustling North Dakota city is named after, but he never actually visited there. Another interesting fact about that name: Fargo was originally named Centralia.
What other facts about North Dakota can you think of that other people might not know?