10 Fun Facts about North Dakota

Every state has unique characteristics that give them their own unique identity. The state of North Dakota is no different. Although often considered a “fly-by” state, North Dakota is home to a wide variety of inimitable facts. Where else can you find the world’s largest buffalo monument or Salem Sue, the world’s largest Holstein cow statue? The next time you dismiss North Dakota as uninteresting and vanilla, consider the following fun facts about the state.

1. Big, but less populated

Although it is the third least populous state in the country, North Dakota is the 19th largest state, area-wise. The state of Rhode Island could fit inside North Dakota 46 times.

2. Statehood

North Dakota was granted statehood in 1889. It was actually admitted the same day as South Dakota. Both states wanted to be the first to be admitted so to be fair, President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the statehood papers and signed them without knowing which state was first. Because North Dakota is alphabetically before South Dakota, its statehood was published first.

3. Teddy Roosevelt

President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt spent a great deal of time in North Dakota, which is home to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Roosevelt first came to the area to hunt bison, but immediately fell in love with the land’s scenic beauty and natural wildlife. North Dakota’s nickname as the “Roughrider State” pays homage to Roosevelt as it refers to the first U.S. Volunteer Calvary that he organized to fight in the Spanish-American War. Another little tidbit: Teddy bears get their name from President Roosevelt. 

4. State farming

North Dakota is the state’s leading producer of sunflowers and honey. On top of that, North Dakota farmers produce enough wheat each year to make 12.6 billion loaves of bread, produce enough beef to make 113 million hamburgers each year, and produce enough soybeans to make 483 billion crayons on an annual basis. North Dakota farmland would cover over 12 million city blocks.

5. The Potato Bowl

Grand Forks’ Potato Bowl USA is one of the state’s most popular events. On Sept. 10, 2015, the event set a new word record when it served 5,220 pounds of French fries.

6. Snow angel world record

On Feb. 17, 2007, the state broke the Guinness World Record for the most snow angels made simultaneously in one place. The previous record of 3,784 was destroyed when 8,962 people participated in the event help on the state capitol grounds.

7. A giant buffalo and a giant cow

The world’s largest buffalo monument is located at Frontier Village in Jamestown. The beast is 26 feet high, 46 feet long, and weighs 60 tons. New Salem, North Dakota is home to Salem Sue, the world’s largest Holstein Cow. Salem Sue is 38 feet tall, 50 feet long, and weighs over six tons.

8. Largest metal sculpture

The largest metal sculpture in the world is in North Dakota. Retired schoolteacher Gary Greff erected “Geese in Flight” to break up the monotony of the highway. It is 156 feet long, 100 feet tall, and weighs 75 tons.

9. The first camera

The inventor of the camera was a North Dakotan. David Henderson invented the camera in 1887 and named it by scrambling the first four letters of “Dakota” and adding a “K” to make “Kodak.”

10. Strange laws

It’s illegal to go dancing in Fargo with a hat on. It is even illegal to wear a hat at a party where other people are dancing. It is also illegal in North Dakota to take a nap with your shoes on. 

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602 Riverside Park Road, Bismarck, ND
The Dakota Zoo began with the 67 acre Marc and Betty Christianson Farm located at what was then the north edge of Bismarck. Initially, the Christia... Read More
500 17th Street South East, Jamestown, ND
The mission of the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation (NDBF) is to foster awareness of the cultural and historical significance of the North American ... Read More
100 34th AVE NE, Minot, ND
About Us:The Dakota Territory Air Museum was founded in June of 1986 with the incorporators' dream and desire to provide the most comprehensive avi... Read More
415 DeMers Avenue, Grand Forks, ND
Mission Statement The Empire Arts Center promotes culture and lifelong learning by producing its own artistic programming while providing a distinc... Read More
2 North Main Street, Minot, ND
Our Vision:The Lillian & Coleman Taube Museum of Art encourages affiliation with various community arts groups, such as the Minot Area Council ... Read More
188 Museum Drive East, Dickinson, ND
Joachim Museum - The Joachim Museum includes art and history exhibits of regional significance, features the Osborn Reading and Research Room, and ... Read More
200 East Museum Drive, Dickinson, ND
The mission of the Dakota Dinosaur Museum is to promote tourism by providing a facility to display earth science specimens excavated from the area ... Read More
333 4th Street South, Fargo, ND
Mission: The mission of the organization is “Providing theatrical and educational opportunities to engage and enrich the greater community.&... Read More
314 Broadway, Fargo, ND
About Us:Built in 1926 as a cinema and vaudeville theatre, the beautifully restored Fargo Theatre is now the premiere destination for cutting edge ... Read More
3350 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND
The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra (GGFSO) is a community orchestra based in Grand Forks, North Dakota that began operation in 1908. One of... Read More
1726 Washington Street, Grand Forks, ND
Mission : The overall mission of the North Dakota Ballet Company is to offer professional dance training, performance opportunities, and to advocat... Read More
115 2nd Street South West, Jamestown, ND
About Us: The Arts Center is operated by the Jamestown Fine Arts Association, which has been promoting the arts in the Jamestown, North Dakota are... Read More
208 Highway 2 West, Devils Lake, ND
The purpose of the Devils Lake, North Dakota Area Chamber of Commerce is to promote and enhance the quality of life for the residents of the Devils... Read More
1609 19th Avenue North, Fargo, ND
Mission:To Provide aviation education through restoration and Preservation. Read More
1219 Burdick Expressway East, Minot, ND
Mission:  Roosevelt Park Zoo strives to provide education, experiences, and knowledge promoting wildlife understanding, conservation, and an i... Read More
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