Also see Specific Destinations, Travel and Location Humor.
- Discover the Spirit
- Fields of North Dakota
- North Dakota Christmas
- North Dakota Morning
- North Dakota Nights
- Anybody who has stood on the prairie in North Dakota has felt the force of the wind and knows that our state has an inexhaustible supply of wind power. The potential here to create jobs and draw millions of dollars in new investment to North Dakota is enormous. (Kent Conrad)
- Books didn't figure in my family very much . . . However, my grandmother's attic was full of old, old books . . . In the summers we would go to North Dakota to visit her, and I would get in that attic and read everything in sight. That's when the passion started. I was maybe eight or nine. (William H. Gass)
- If you will take a map of the United States and fold it in the middle, eastern edge against western, and crease it sharply, right in the crease will be Fargo. (John Steinbeck)
- One cannot talk about the weather all the time, even in Bismarck. (Philip Hamburger)
North Dakota Symbols
- Nicknames: The Peace Garden State; The Flickertail State; Roughrider State
- Slogan: Discover the Spirit
- Motto: Liberty and Union Now and Forever, One and Inseparable
- Song: North Dakota Hymn
- March: Flickertail March
- Dance: Square Dance
- Equine: The Nokota Horse
- Bird: Western Meadowlark
- Fish: Northern Pike
- Tree: American Elm
- Flower: Wild Prairie Rose (grows along roadsides, in pastures native meadows)
- Grass: Western Wheatgrass
- Fossil: Teredo Petrified Wood
- Beverage: Milk
- Fruit: Chokecherry
Facts About North Dakota
- Capital: Bismarck
- Residents: North Dakotans
- State Name Origin: from a Sioux word meaning "friends"
- Admitted to Statehood: 2 Nov 1889
- Order of Admission: 39th state
- Length: 340 miles
- Width: 211 miles
- Area: 70,700 square miles
- Size Rank: 19
- Number of Counties: 53
- Streams and Rivers: 54,373 miles
- Geographic Center: 5 miles SW of McClusky in Sheridan Co.
- Mean Elevation: 1,900 feet
- Highest Point: White Butte, 3,506 feet
- Lowest Point: Red River, 750 feet
- Agricultural Products: food products, wheat, barley, hay, sunflowers (more than any other state), sugar beets, cattle (farms cover 90 percent of the land)
- Commercial Products: farm equipment, processed goods, coal, petroleum, sand and gravel, high-tech electronics
- Average Annual Rainfall: 15.4 inches
- Average Winter High Temperature: 5-15 degrees
- Record Low Temperature: -60 degrees (15 Feb 1936 Parshall)
- Average Summer High Temperature: 67-73 degrees
- Record High Temperature: 121 degrees (6 Jul 1936 Steele)
- Official Language: English (since 1987)
- More information about North Dakota
North Dakota Hymn
(words by James W. Foley, music by Dr. C. S. Putnam)
North Dakota, North Dakota,
With thy prairies wide and free,
All thy sons and daughters love thee,
Fairest state from sea to sea;
North Dakota, North Dakota,
Here we pledge ourselves to thee.
Hear thy loyal children singing,
Songs of happiness and praise,
Far and long the echoes ringing,
Through the vastness of thy ways;
North Dakota, North Dakota,
We will serve thee all our days.
Onward, onward, onward going,
Light of courage in thine eyes,
Sweet the winds above thee blowing,
Green thy fields and fair thy skies;
North Dakota, North Dakota,
Brave the soul that in thee lies.
God of freedom, all victorious,
Give us Souls serene and strong,
Strength to make the future glorious,
Keep the echo of our song;
North Dakota, North Dakota,
In our hearts forever long.
Unofficial State Creed
(by Frank L. McVey, former President of the University of ND)
We believe in North Dakota, in the beauty of her skies, and in the glory of her prairies.
We believe in the People of North Dakota, in their strength of Body and Mind, in their High Sense of Right, and in their Desire to establish a Great Commonwealth wherein the things that count for Human Welfare shall be first.
We believe that by Thought and Act we can magnify our State and the Life of our People, bind the East and the West, the North and the South by Roadways, Communication and Good Will, and give our Sons and Daughters the Opportunity to Work at Useful Tasks within our borders.
We pledge to those seeking new homes the Hand of Hospitality and extend to them a Welcome to our Commonwealth where they may find Peace and Happiness.
We pledge that the freedom our Fathers won here and elsewhere shall continue as the Heritage of our Children.
We, as a People, because of growing Intelligence and a Nobler Outlook, seek Unity of Purpose; we desire to lead a Richer Common Life, and hope to render a Larger Service to the State and the Nation.
Items of Interest
- The town of Rugby is the geographical center of North America.
- Farther from a moderating body of water than any other state, ND has extreme temperature variations.
- North Dakota has 365 species of commonly seen songbirds, shore birds, birds of prey, wading birds, upland birds, and more nesting waterfowl than any other state.
- Dakota Gasification Company in Beulah is the nation's only synthetic natural gas producer.
- Flickertail refers to the Richardson ground squirrels which are abundant in ND. The animal flicks or jerks its tail in a characteristic manner while running or just before entering its burrow.
- The Lewis and Clark expedition encountered their first grizzly (brown) bears in North Dakota.
Some of these were born here, others just lived a while in the state.
- Maxwell Anderson - author, playwright
- Dr. Robert H. Bahmer - U.S. archivist
- Elizabeth Bodine (1898-1986) - humanitarian
- James Buchli - astronaut
- Dr. Anne Carlsen - educator
- George Catlin - Native American artist and historian
- George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) - general, left Fort Abraham in 1876 for Little Big Horn
- Ronald N. Davies - supreme court justice
- Angie Dickinson 91931- ) - actress (Kulm)
- Ivan Dmitre - artist
- John Bernard Flannagan - sculptor (Fargo)
- Phyllis Frelich - actress (Devils Lake)
- William H. Gass (1924- ) - writer, philosopher (Fargo)
- Rev. Richard C. Halverson - Senate chaplain
- Virgil Hill - boxer
- Phil D. Jackson (1945- ) - basketball player, coach (Williston)
- Dr. Leon O. Jacobson - researcher, educator (Sims)
- Harold K. Johnson - army general
- Norman Kittson (1814-1888) - fur trader, transportation entrepreneur (helped open the Red River Valley to settlement)
- Louis L'Amour (1908-1988) - western author (Jamestown)
- Peggy Lee (1920- ) - singer (Jamestown)
- William Lemke - representative
- Roger Maris - baseball player
- Marquis de Mores - cattleman
- Casper Oimoen - skier
- Arthur Peterson - actor
- Cliff Fido Purpur (1914-2001) - hockey player, coach (Grand Forks)
- Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919) - president (ranched near Medora)
- James Rosenquist - painter (Grand Forks)
- Sacajawea(1784-1884?) - Shoshoni woman, served as interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark
- Eric Severeid - television journalist (Velva)
- Sitting Bull (1831-1890) - native American leader (spent his last years on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation)
- Ann Southern - actress (Valley City)
- Dorothy Stickney - actress (Dickinson)
- Edward K. Thompson - editor
- Era Bell Thompson - editor
- Tommy Tucker - band leader (Souris)
- Lawrence Welk - band leader (Strasburg)
- Larry Woiwode - writer
The North Dakota State Flag
The flag background is dark blue. In the center is a bald eagle grasping an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its claws. In its beak, the eagle carries a ribbon with the words "One nation made up of many states". On its breast is a shield with thirteen stripes representing the original thirteen states. The fan-shaped design above the eagle represents the birth of the United States. The name "North Dakota" is on a red scroll below the eagle.
You Might be from North Dakota if:
- "Down south" means Aberdeen.
- After you discuss the weather, conversation declines.
- East means to Fargo.
- Every time you see moonlight on a lake you think of a dancing bear, and sing, gently, "From the land of sky-blue waters...Hamm's, the beer refreshing."
- People borrow things to you.
- Someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there.
- Somewhere in the state is a piece of frozen metal with bits of your tongue stuck to it.
- The band you choose for your wedding has to know rock, country, and polkas.
- There is a Dairy Queen in every town with a population of 1000 or more, but McDonalds are spread out every 100 miles.
- Though you're not breaking the law, you break into a cold sweat when the game warden appears.
- The soup du jour at your hometown cafe is always beer cheese or knoephla.
- Vacation means going to Medora.
- When you win the prize for the smallest fish, you're proud of it.
- At least fifty percent of your relatives smell like beets.
- The State Legislature declares square dancing the official state dance.
- The State Legislature often ponders how much to fine people who drive around the Interstate highway gates during a blizzard.
- You are proud that your state makes the national news 96 nights each year because Bismarck is the coldest spot in the nation.
- You assume everyone has seen northern lights and sundogs.
- You can recite, from memory, more than a half-dozen "Ole and Lena" jokes.
- You call the State Capitol and the Governor answers the phone.
- You can identify a Minnesota accent.
- You can pronounce "Lake Metigoshe" correctly.
- You can tell the difference between a gopher and a chipmunk at 300 yards.
- You carry a blizzard survival kit in your car twelve months a year.
- You cry when a tree is cut down but complain when a new one is planted because it blocks the view.
- You can't understand why there isn't a national weekend holiday for making venison sausage.
- You confuse Summer and the 4th of July because they can fall on the same day.
- You define Summer as three months of bad sledding.
- You have ever served glorified rice at a wedding reception.
- You didn't know there was a Red River Valley in Texas.
- You drive to town during a blizzard just to see if the weatherman knows what he's talking about.
- You expect to be excused from school for deer hunting season and harvesting.
- You find three feet of snow a minor inconvenience.
- You find it exciting to stare through a hole in the ice and look at the bottom.
- You go to a high school basketball game, the score is 12-8 at halftime...and you don't think there's anything strange about that.
- You grew up thinking rice was only for dessert.
- You hate "Fargo" but realize your entire family has the accent.
- You know that "Spring Wheat" is harvested in July.
- You know that a "flickertail" is a squirrel, and not a bird.
- You know that almost half the population lives in urban areas, not so much for convenience, but to try to stay warm.
- You know that France once gave part of the land to Spain, and Spain gave it back.
- You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
- You have no problem spelling "Wahpeton".
- You keep the snow tires on your truck all year because it isn't worth taking them off for only two months.
- You know how to say Fargo and Minot.
- You know Ole and Lena personally.
- You know several people who have hit a buffalo.
- You may not have actually eaten it, but you have heard of Lutefisk.
- You never had to rewind any part of "Fargo" because you missed some of the dialog.
- You only lock your car in August, so it doesn't get filled with zucchini.
- You know that in the summer, North Dakota has more hours of sunshine than any other state.
- You know that the Red river flows backwards. (south to north)
- You know the State motto is: "Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable" and you can explain what the hell it means
- You refer to the blessed union of an ELCA Lutheran and a Missouri-Synod Lutheran as a "mixed marriage".
- You have a nickname for your chain saw and you pat it on the fuel tank at the end of a hard day's sawing.
- You owe more money on your snowmobile than your car.
- You think the four major food groups are: beef, chokecherry wine, pork and Jell-O with marshmallows.
- You think a basketball team consists of twelve white boys.
- You think cold weather gear is a bottle of schnapps.
- You think of something other than the Bible when you hear the words "The Great Flood".
- Your definition of a small town is one that has only one bar.
- Your husband thinks sexy lingerie is a flannel nightgown with less than eight buttons.
- You think that "UFF DA" is a standard English phrase.
- You think that ketchup is a little too spicy.
- You think white rice is exotic and wild rice is a hot dish.
- You understand "AYH, y'betchyah" means either "I agree" or "You're full of it" and know the difference.
- Young boys still get BB guns for Christmas.
- Your bank has the name of your town included in its name.
- Your kids baseball and softball games have ever been snowed out
- Your dog dies, you lose your job, and your car breaks down, all on the same day, and the first thought that comes to your mind is, "It could be worse!"
- Your town isn't trying to be ironic when it plans a "Winter Carnival."
- You're polite to telemarketers.
- You've ridden the school bus for an hour each way.
- You've seen all the biggest bands, twenty years after they were popular.
- You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from North Dakota.
Songs about North Dakota
- Bismark, North Dakota - Carter Burwell (1996)
- Ellendale, North Dakota - Dana Mase (2001)
- Fargo, North Dakota - Carter Burwell (1996)
- Fields of North Dakota - Brad Dunse (2009)
- Freezing in North Dakota - Rik Palieri (2007)
- High on North Dakota - Vic Pellerano (2001)
- North Dakota - Lyle Lovett (1992)
- North Dakota Christmas - Ray Dahrouge (2009)
- North Dakota Farm Boy - Randi Perkins (2008)
- North Dakota Girl - James Talley (2008)
- North Dakota Morning - Bronco (2004)
- Stanley, North Dakota - Radio Stars (2009)
- Stay Away From North Dakota - Art Rude (2005)
- Wild Rose, North Dakota - Matt Howard (2009)