Interesting Facts About North Dakota

  • Among the state’s interesting archaeological discoveries are the rows of carved turtles and the rings of boulders. The turtles were thought to have pointed to water sources, and the rocks probably held down the bottoms of tepees.
  • Milk is the official state beverage.
  • Westhope located on U.S. Highway 83 is a Port-of-Entry into Canada. Each year more than 72,000 vehicles cross the border at this point.
  • A Portal golf course is probably the only place where a golfer might make a tee shot in the United States and end up in a hole in Canada.
  • An attempt to drop the word North from the state name was defeated by the 1947 Legislative Assembly. Again in 1989 the Legislature rejected two resolutions intended to rename the state Dakota.
  • The third largest man-made lake in the United States, Lake Sakakawea was created out of the Missouri River by the Garrison Dam, the fifth largest in the United States. The 609-square-mile lake has 1,500 miles of shoreline.
  • North Dakota has more wildlife refuges (64) than any other state. California is second with 38 refuges; Florida follows with 29 refuges.
  • When Dakota Territory was created in 1861 it was named for the Dakota Indian tribe. Dakota is a Sioux word meaning friends or allies.
  • Dakota Gasification Company in Beulah is the nation’s only synthetic natural gas producer.
  • A Crow Indian drew a message in the Missouri River sand. It consisted of a cluster of dots representing U.S. troops within a circle. Then he slashed out the dots with a stick. A river captain understood the message and carried the first news of the Custer massacre down the river to Bismarck.
  • Inventor D. H. Houston named his new film Kodak, a variation of Dakota that became known around the world.