Introduction - North DakotaNorth Dakota, located in the Midwest Region of the United States, is one of the larger U.S. states but is also one of the least populated. If the dry and rugged badlands come to mind when you think of North Dakota that is because it is one of North Dakota's most well-known geographic features. Below, you'll discover many interesting facts about North Dakota including a famous entertainer who was born there, what president had a National Park named after him there, and where the possible mid-point of the North America lies. The information is in a kid-friendly format so it is both easy to read and easy to understand.
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North Dakota Quick Facts
- North Dakota is the 39th state to become part of the United States. It became a state on November 2, 1889.
- The population of North Dakota is 739,482 (2014 US Census Bureau) ranking it 47th in total population among U.S. states.
- With an area of 70,700 square miles (183,272 square kilometers), North Dakota is the 19th largest state.
- The state capital is Bismarck.
- The largest city in North Dakota is Fargo.
- The state abbreviation is ND.
- The name given to residents is North Dakotans.
- The state nicknames are the Roughrider State, Peace Garden State, and Flickertail State.
- The state song is, "North Dakota Hymn".
- The wild prairie rose (Rosa blanda or Rosa arkansana) was named the official state flower in 1907.
- The state motto is "Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable".
- The highest point in this state is White Butt; it is 3,508 feet (1,069 meters) above sea level.
Interesting North Dakota Facts
- The name of the state "Dakota" is derived from the Native American Indian Sioux tribe word meaning friend or ally.
- North Dakota borders South Dakota to the south, Minnesota to the east (separated by Red River of the North), Montana to the west and Canada to the north.
- An interesting fact about North Dakota is that it is not totally clear if North Dakota is the 39th state to be admitted to the Union (U.S.A.) or the 40th. Both North Dakota and South Dakota gained statehood on the same day, November 2nd of 1889. On this day U.S. President Benjamin Harrison signed papers admitting both states, but which papers were signed 1st is unknown. North Dakota is usually considered the 39th state and South Dakota the 40th based purely on alphabetical order.
- Agriculture is North Dakota's largest industry.
- North Dakota is one of the largest producers of oil in the United States; as of 2012 it ranked second only to Texas in oil production.
- The major rivers in this state are the Red River of the North, Pembina River, Sheyenne River, James River, and the Missouri River.
- The major lakes are Lake Ohe and Lake Sakakawea.
- In 2014 North Dakota was named the "best-run state in the country" by the news organization 24/7 Wall Street.
- North Dakota does not have many tourist attractions and is one of the least visited states of the 50 U.S. states; one of the few tourist attractions is Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
- President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying, "I would not have been president if not for my experience in North Dakota". It is where he fell in love with nature and began thinking about conservation, which he championed for throughout his presidency. Because of his conservation efforts as President, which included establishing 5 National Parks and protecting both wildlife and public land, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park was named in his honor.
- A monument was erected in the city of Rugby, North Dakota to mark the location that the town claims is the geographic center of North America. A United States flag and Canadian flag fly on both sides of the monument.
- Fort Yates, North Dakota is the home of Sitting Bull State Historical Site.
- North and South Dakota together produce 90 percent of the Sunflowers grown in the U.S.
- Entertainer and musician, Lawrence Welk, was born on March 11, 1903 in Strasburg, North Dakota.
North Dakota Historical Facts
- The Native American tribes indigenous to the area that is now North Dakota are the Lakota, Mandan, Ojibwe, and the Hidatsa.
- French-Canadian trader La Verendrye was one of the earliest explorers of present-day North Dakota; he explored the region in 1738.
- In 1762 the region that is now North Dakota became part of Spanish Louisiana.
- The region that is today North Dakota was purchased in 1803 by the U.S. from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
- Before gaining statehood most of the area that is now North Dakota was originally part of the United States Minnesota Territory and later part of the Dakota Territory.