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North Dakota

  • Governors throughout North Dakota history have given speeches to the Legislature to outline their priorities and proposals and to describe the state's outlook: a “state of the state,” it's been called. Those speeches are often given around this date, including in times of war, prosperity, gloom and uncertainty. Here’s a sampling:
  • A coal miner was murdered near Kenmare in late November of 1912, and it doesn’t appear his death was ever solved. The deceased was Carl Hanson, a 29-year-old born in Norway. A Soo Line section foreman discovered his body near the shore of Des Lacs Lake after following a bloody trail from the tracks
  • The federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay held several infamous convicts throughout its 29 years of operation, even a handful of prisoners with connections to North Dakota.
  • North Dakota is definitely not in the mainstream of pop culture. Most people’s only reference point to the state is the film “Fargo.” But North Dakota is found in other stories too.
  • Perhaps the most violent moment in Dakota territorial politics was the killing of the territorial secretary in 1873. General Edwin Stanton McCook was a distinguished Civil War veteran and one of the “Fighting McCooks,” a prominent Union military family. In February of 1872, President Grant appointed McCook as secretary of Dakota Territory, a position which also served as acting governor. McCook soon afterward arrived in the capital city of Yankton with his family.
  • North Dakota rarely stands out on the national political scene, but one figure did at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, which began on this date in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Future Governor George Sinner was a state senator and a delegate. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for Congress that year.
  • On this date in 1930, a Fargo woman successfully made a 2,400-foot parachute jump at Salt Lake, North Dakota, about 30 miles northeast of Napoleon. The feat seemed particularly daring, after news of nine fatal aviation accidents from across the nation occurring in a single day. There had also been a death weeks earlier when a professional parachute jumper in Chicago fell when helping rescue a woman dangling from a plane in a tangled parachute.
  • On this date in 1910, the pioneer town of Timmer established a Post Office. Located along the Northern Pacific railroad about twelve miles southeast of Flasher, the town was named after C. L. Timmerman, a Mandan banker, rancher and merchant.
  • We asked, you answered! From Louise Erdrich novels to oil field memoirs — see a list of books that will help you learn more about our state.
  • On this date in 1998, the Bismarck Tribune announced that Colonel Terry Scherling of Bismarck was now the highest ranking woman in the Air National Guard. She was promoted to Chief Support Officer for the Air National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. She was only 43 years old, making her one of the youngest colonels in the country. Just the year before, Scherling had become the first female United States Property and Fiscal Officer. By the time of her retirement, she had risen to the rank of Major General.