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North Dakota



North Dakota is a U.S. state, the northernmost of the Great Plains states in the Midwestern United States. To the north across the U.S.-Canada border are the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and to the south is South Dakota. In the west is Montana and to the east across the Red River of the North and the Bois de Sioux Riveris Minnesota. The Missouri River flows through the western part of the state, forming Lake Sakakawea behind the Garrison Dam.

Formerly part of Dakota Territory (named after the Dakota tribe of Native Americans), North Dakota became a state in 1889.

Brief History of North Dakota

Prior to European contact, Native Americans inhabited North Dakota for thousands of years. The first European to reach the area was the French-Canadian trader La Vérendrye, who led an exploration party to Mandan villages about 1738.

The trading arrangement between tribes was such that North Dakota tribes rarely dealt directly with Europeans. However, the native tribes were in sufficient contact that by the time of Lewis and Clark, they were at least somewhat aware of the French, then Spanish claims to their territory.

The state was settled sparsely until the late 1800s, when the railroads pushed through the state, and aggressively marketed the land. On 2 November 1889, North Dakota was admitted to the Union with South Dakota (see Trivia below).

The territorial and early state governments were largely corrupt. Early in the 20th century, a wave of populism led by the Non Partisan League brought social reforms. The Great Depression was rough on the state and came several years early with the 1920s farm crisis. The original state capitol burned to the ground in the 1930s and was replaced by a concrete art deco skyscraper that still stands today.

The 1950s brought a wave of federal construction projects, including the Garrison Dam and the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force bases. The 1980s saw an oil boom in the Williston basin, as skyrocketing petroleum prices made development profitable, driving state population to a peak near 800,000. Since then the state has been experiencing a period of economic and demographic decline. Today, the population stands at around 640,000 (roughly the same population as in the 1920s).

Miscellaneous information

State bird: Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
State fish: Northern pike, Esox lucius
State horse: Nokota Horse
State flower: Wild Prairie Rose, Rosa arkansana
State tree: American Elm, Ulmus americana
State fossil: Teredo Petrified wood
State grass: Western Wheatgrass, Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) A. Löve
State nicknames: Roughrider State, Flickertail State, Peace Garden State
State mottos:
(Seal of North Dakota) Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable
(Coat of Arms of North Dakota) Strength from the Soil
State song: North Dakota Hymn
State dance: Square Dance
State march: Flickertail March
State beverage: Milk
State license plate: See the different types over time

NORTH DAKOTA COUNTIES


Richland
Cass
Traill
Sargent
Ransom
Barnes
Steele
Grand Forks
Walsh
Nelson
Pembina
Cavalier
Ramsey
Rolette
Pierce
Towner
Bottineau
Wells
Benson
Eddy
Stutsman
Mcintosh
Lamoure
Griggs
Foster
Kidder
Sheridan
Dickey
Logan
Burleigh
Morton
Mercer
Emmons
Sioux
Grant
Oliver
Mclean
Stark
Slope
Golden Valley
Bowman
Dunn
Billings
Mckenzie
Adams
Hettinger
Ward
Mchenry
Burke
Divide
Renville
Williams
Mountrail

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