Wednesday, February 5, 2014

50 States: North Dakota


The 39th state in our union is North Dakota (ND).  It officially became a state on November 2, 1889, after being a part of the Dakota Territory (the same day that South Dakota became a state).  Dakota is a Sioux word meaning friend or ally).  ND is the 19th largest state with nearly 70,699 square miles.  There are less than 725,000 people living here, which means there are roughly 10 people per square mile.  Nearly 90% of the population of ND is white, 1.5% black or African American, 5.5% American Indian, and 2.5% Hispanic.  The people who call North Dakota home are North Dakotans.
The capital of ND is Bismarck was named for Germany's Otto von Bismarck.  The largest city is Fargo.  This city was named after William Fargo, director of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The economy of North Dakota is based on the farming of wheat, barley, oats, flaxseed, and cattle; the mining of soft coal and lignite, which is used to make electricity and synthetic natural gas; and generation of electricity through coal, wind, and water.

North Dakota's nickname are the Peace Garden State, Flickertail State (named for Richardson ground squirrel that flicks its tail before entering its burrow), and Roughrider State (name given in 1960s/1970s to remember First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry who fought in Spanish-American War.)  The motto is "Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable."

The state symbols are:

Bird...Western meadowlark
Fish...Northern Pike
Flower...Wild prairie rose
Tree...American elm
Grass...Western wheatgrass
Dance...Square dance

The flag of North Dakota was adopted on March 3, 1911.  A bald eagle is holding an olive branch and arrows. In his beak, he carries a ribbon with "One nation made up of many states" written in Latin.  A shield with 13 stripes represents the 13 original colonies.  The 13 stars above the eagle also represent the 13 original colonies.

Some interesting facts above ND include:
*Rugby is the geographical center of North America.
*English is the official language of North Dakota.
*The Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, is buried by Fort Yates.
*This state grows more sunflowers than any other state.
*Minot, North Dakota, was named after Henry D. Minot.
*It is one of two states (the other is Florida) with the least number of earthquakes.
*The average winter temperature is 12.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
*The average annual snowfall ranges from 27.2 inches to 51.2.

There were not very many famous people born in North Dakota, according to  Perhaps the most famous was Lawrence Welk who was born in Strasburg in 1903.  He become a popular television personality with his own musical program, The Lawrence Welk Show.  The show plays in syndication now.

Some of the fun things to do in North Dakota are to visit Bonanzaville, USA, a history museum complex in West Fargo; Fort Abraham Lincoln in Mandan; Fargo Air Museum; Fort Mandan; Roger Maris Museum; Dakota Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson; Fort Buford; Chateau de Mores, a hunting lodge/summer home built by the Marquis de Mores in 1883; Scandinavian Heritage Park; and Fort Abercrombie.

Play some learning games to test your North Dakota knowledge.

The following items are available through  If you purchase through my blog, I will receive a commission as I am an affiliate.

35141EB: Are You Smarter Than A Flying Teddy?: Teddy Roosevelt Returns to North Dakota! - eBook Are You Smarter Than A Flying Teddy?: Teddy Roosevelt Returns to North Dakota! - eBook
By Kevin Kremer & Dave Ely((Illustrator) / Snow in Sarasota Publishing

663798: Trucking with Noah: North Dakota to Arizona Trucking with Noah: North Dakota to Arizona
By David K. Nelson / Tate Publishing & Enterprises

021727: The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
By Nathaniel Philbrick / Viking

The story of the Battle of Little Big Horn looms large in the history of the American West. Overshadowed by the stories of its two legendary leaders—General George Custer and Sitting Bull—award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick relies on the accounts available to put together a portrait that transcends the standard image of impossible odds vs. arrogance. 466 pages, indexed, hardcover with dust jacket.

806285: Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy
By Augusta Stevenson / Aladdin

729407: Sitting Bull: The Story Of Our Nation From Coast To Coast, From 1840 To 1890 Sitting Bull: The Story Of Our Nation From Coast To Coast, From 1840 To 1890
By Sally Senzell Isaacs / Heinemann Raintree

This book describes the lives of Sitting Bull, U.S. Army soldiers, cowboys, and immigrants from Europe and Asia who created the Wild West. Each book in The America in the Time of... series uses reconstruction illustrations and photographs along with clear text to bring the story of our nation to life. Softcover, 48 pages. Ages 9 to 12.