North Dakota

State Information

Nickname(s):              Peace Garden State

Motto(s):                        Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.

State song(s):                 North Dakota Hymn

Capital:                           Bismarck

Largest City:                  Fargo

Admitted to US:           11/2/1889                  40th State

Brief History

Here are a few interesting facts about North Dakota:

  • North Dakota has a rich oil deposit of up to 40 billion barrels.  With current production rates of 62 million barrels per year, North Dakota will be producing oil for another 645 years. 

  • This state has the 2nd lowest unemployment and the 2nd lowest utility rate.  

  • North Dakota is very religious, supporting the most churches per capita in the Nation.

  • Teddy Roosevelt was a frail man who wanted to toughen up.  He went to the Dakota Territory for three years and became a muscular figure capable of driving a team of oxen. 

  • There are five species of prairie dogs.  Their range is from Mexico to Canada.  Lewis & Clark discovered these animals and called them barking squirrels

  • A few famous people include Lawrence Welk (musician), Bobby Vee (singer), Angie Dickinson (actress), Peggy Lee (singer), Roger Maris (baseball), and many others.

Interesting Stories

Leonard Check, Raymond Check & Gilbert Check were brothers born in North Dakota.  All three went on to become war heroes. Leonard joined the military as a Navy aviator.  He came across several Japanese bombers that were being escorted by fighter planes.  He pulled behind one of the bombers and shot it down, then did a repeat on the second bomber.  He pulled behind the third, but his gun jammed.  Right before he had to pull away, he cleared his rifle and shot down the third bomber.  Raymond piloted a bomber assigned to a mission over France.  After he dropped his bombs, he was attacked by several German fighters and was killed.  Gilbert Check commanded Sherman tanks in the Korean War and was involved in several direct tank-to-tank battles.  He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  The bravery of these three brothers exemplifies the North Dakota spirit.

Harold Schafer was born in Stanton, ND.  He started a Gold Seal Floor Wax company, where he personally packaged the products in his basement.  He cleared $901 the second year.  As time went on, he added products and soon had annual revenues of 50 million. His company was the most successful private business in North Dakota.  Hard-working people like Harold Schafer form the fabric of this Nation.   

Phil Jackson was born in Montana but moved to Williston, North Dakota, as a young boy.  He played basketball in high school and led his team to two state championships.  He took the University of North Dakota to many NCAA tournaments.  He also coached the Chicago Bulls to six titles.  He adamantly disputed that Michael Jordan was from another planet and insisted that the Bull’s success was his coaching.  He went to the Los Angeles Lakers and produced five winning championships.  No other coach has been able to tuck 11 titles under his belt.  Maybe it was his coaching skills, after all.

Greg Raymer was born in Minot, North Dakota, but his parents moved several times.  He obtained a Master’s in biochemistry and went on to law school, becoming a patent attorney.  But what Greg is best known for are his poker skills. He acquired the nickname “Fossilman” because he uses a small fossil to protect his cards while playing poker.  He finished first in the money at the 2001 World Series of Poker and won $5,000,000.00 in the 2004 World Series.  You might be wondering how Greg Raymer got so good. Well, it turns out that poker requires knowledge of statistics, which he got from his chemistry background; an understanding of human eccentricities, which he learned in biology; and a poker face, which he acquired from his practice of law.