Centennial Elm Tree
President George Bush, Sr., presided over a ceremony at the State Capitol grounds in Bismarck on this date in 1989. The ceremony was held to commemorate North Dakota's centennial anniversary of statehood. President Bush dedicated the state's Centennial Grove, a grove of trees located on the southwest side of the capitol grounds, designed by the North Dakota Forest Service, and meant to symbolize the state's commitment to tree-planting projects initiated that year. The President also helped plant a twelve-foot tall centennial elm tree sapling. The elm was a descendant of a tree planted on the White House lawn by John Quincy Adams. Although President Bush predicted that the tree would be "mammoth...as hardy and strong as the people" of North Dakota, the tree was killed the following winter by the state's harsh climate, and replaced by a hardier bur oak.
Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job