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Facts About North Dakota History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 02:41 PM

Nearly three decades after President James Buchanan signed a bill to create the Dakota territory, North Dakota joined the Union in 1889, and in the 125 years since, the state has produced a number of interesting facts.

As such, here are seven things you might not know about the Peace Garden State:

1.
For more than a decade in the 1870s and 1880s, there were separate campaigns for how to bring North Dakota and South Dakota into the Union. Some believed there should be one Dakota. Others preferred the designation of two separate states.

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Ultimately, the latter faction won. Since North Dakota is first alphabetically, it's generally considered the 39th state to enter the Union while South Dakota gets the designation of No. 40, even though they were admitted on the same day.

2. Kansas might be the geographical center of the contiguous U.S., but Rugby, North Dakota, is the geographical center of the entire North American continent. A stone monument, flanked by American and Canadian flags, was built in 1932 at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 2 and North Dakota State Highway 3 to mark the exact location.

3. North Dakotans haven't always been happy with the state name. Twice since it entered the Union — once in 1947 and again in 1989 — the state legislature has had to defeat attempts to drop the North from its name and go simply as Dakota.

4. North Dakota's oldest and longest continuously-running newspaper is the Bismarck Tribune in the state's capital city, established in 1873 — and it earned a huge scoop three years later as the first paper to break the story of Custer's Last Stand. Although reporter Mark Kellogg was killed in action, his "bloodstained notes" were transmitted back to Bismarck in time for the paper to grab the scoop.

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5. A tornado that hit Fargo in 1957 was one of the deadliest disasters in state history, as the twister killed 10 people. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), "The storm is also noteworthy as it occurred during the daytime and was one of the earliest tornadoes to be heavily photographed. The large amount of visual documentation proved valuable to researchers." That video allowed researchers to develop the Fujita scale, which rates the damage caused by a tornado. Fargo was rated an F-5, the highest level on the scale.

6. When you think of honey, you apparently must think about North Dakota, as well because the state is the nation's largest producer of the product. According to AGWeb, there are 220 registered beekeepers in the state and each beekeeper keeps between 1,000-1,500 colonies.

7. Think North Dakota doesn't believe that its dairy farmer industry is important? How about the fact that in 1983, the state designated milk as the state's official beverage. Unfortunately for farmers, the milk production has dropped drastically this century. According to AgriNews, 16,000 cows produced milk for 91 dairy farmers in 2015. In 2000, there were 49,000 cows for 350 farmers.

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Nearly three decades after President James Buchanan signed a bill to create the Dakota territory, North Dakota joined the Union in 1889, and in the 125 years since, the state has produced a number of interesting facts.
facts about north dakota, history
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2015-41-13
Monday, 13 Apr 2015 02:41 PM
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