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On this day – North Dakota became our 39th State
|Recurring Event (See all)
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 2 of November, repeating indefinitely
On November 2, 1889, North Dakota entered the Union as our 39th state. A beautiful and largely rural state, North Dakota contains both the most wildlife refuges and the largest grassland in the United States.
Did you know? North Dakota is home to the Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile passage of highway dotted by some of the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures. Highlights include a 60-foot long grasshopper, giant pheasants, and the striking piece, Geese in Flight.
North Dakota’s status as the 39th state is unclear – South Dakota’s statehood was signed into law at the same time and President Benjamin Harrison deliberately shuffled the papers and signed them without checking which was being signed first. Alphabetically, North Dakota comes first, so it’s generally listed as 39th.
What’s in a name? “Dakota” comes from a Native American word for “allies,” which referred to the confederated Sioux tribes in the region.
Sunset on the Plains, Albert Bierstadt, c. 1887
-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer