North Dakota October 26, 2016
5 Insane Things That Happened In North Dakota That You Won’t Find In History Books
While the history of North Dakota is full of fascinating stories all leading up to today, there are some parts of it that the textbooks just don’t cover. There have been huge feats, weird phenomena, and even obscure laws that have since been brushed aside. Here are 5 things that you definitely didn’t cover in your high school history class:
1. Zip to Zap
The quaint small town of Zap, North Dakota once had a rather rude awakening during spring break of 1969. At the time, just under 300 residents lived there, but in the span of just a couple days, it was suddenly full of over 2,000 drunk college students from all over the place in a spring break diversion that was named "Zip to Zap." As tensions between the residents and the unwelcome visitors rose, it turned into a riot. It got so out of hand that the National Guard had to be called in. It will go down as the first and only riot that had to be put down by the Guard ever to happen in North Dakota.
2. Theodore Roosevelt and the boat thieves
The famous former president, one of the four who is embodied on Mount Rushmore, Theodore Roosevelt has had plenty of history written about him, but this is not a story usually cited in textbooks. His favorite state was in fact North Dakota, despite being a New York native, as he fell in love with the badlands and the good, hardworking people living there. He spent a ton of time in the state, and credited his success as president to it. If you know anything about him, you know that he was an extremely tough person; he could take a literal bullet to the chest during a speech and finish the speech anyway (yes, that actually happened). One of his crazy stories proving this amazing resiliency happened right here in North Dakota.
On one frosty winter, he and his hunting party had their boat stolen in the dead of night from where it was on the Little Missouri river. Instead of just packing up and heading back, he decided it would be better to pursue the thieves. Over the course of a few days in the frigid cold, they headed up river - having no idea where the thieves went - and searched. When they did successfully find them, Teddy managed to knock them out with a few swings of his fist, and then he decided to take the course of justice. He brought them, hogtied, all the way back to Dickinson and had them formally arrested. Talk about a man with some guts!
3. The world record breaking snow angel gathering at the capital
Did you know that North Dakota set the world record - stealing a previous title once held by Michigan - for most snow angels made in one place? In the winter of 2007, nearly 9,000 people gathered on the state capital grounds in Bismarck and all made snow angels simultaneously. You can see the huge crowd gathered here on that day in the picture above!
4. Weird and obscure North Dakota laws that have come and gone in history
It is illegal to wear a hat while dancing or even while simply attending a dance in North Dakota. You also can't keep an elk in a sandbox in your backyard. And if you run a charity, you can only hold two stud poker games a year, max - no more than that, for whatever reason. These laws are mostly obscure now, but at some point they circulated around enough to still be remembered as crazy ND laws of the past - some of which are technically still in effect today!
5. This crazy natural phenomenon that happened on the Sheyenne River in North Dakota
I had never seen anything like it in my life!
Do you know any more pieces of North Dakota history that others might now? Here are some interesting
facts about the history of one of North Dakota’s most popular attractions that you may not have heard of before.