9 Interesting Facts About North Dakota
(Last Updated On: April 11, 2022)


Even though North Dakota has an estimated 760,000 residents, making it one of the least populated states in the nation, there are more than 5 interesting facts about North Dakota to be found. Did you know that North Dakota is actually quite large compared to other states when it comes to size? With nearly 69,000 square miles, North Dakota is the 17th largest state in the union. Check out these 9 interesting facts about North Dakota.

1. North Dakota Has Half a Dozen Nicknames

The most popular nickname for North Dakota is the Peace Garden State. This is thanks to the International Peace Garden, which North Dakota shares with Manitoba, Canada. The North Dakota legislature made the nickname official in 1957. Other Nicknames North Dakota has acquired include:

  • The Sioux State
  • The Great Central State
  • Land of the Dakotas
  • Flickertail State

North Dakota is also called the Roughrider State. The state used the name to promote tourism during the 1960s and 1970s. Roughrider references Theodore Roosevelt’s cattle ranching business in the state, as well as the President’s visits to North Dakota.

2. The First Mosque in the Country Was Built In North Dakota

Many different ethnic groups came to North Dakota during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Scandinavians and Germans from Russia were among the most numerous. You might not realize that there were also homesteaders from Syria. These homesteaders built the first mosque in the country. They built the mosque in 1929 near the tiny town of Ross in Mountrail County.

3. There’s a Pyramid
North Dakota Pyramid
North Dakota Pyramid – Unused Radar System

Constructed as part of a giant missile silo complex, the pyramid houses a radar system located in Nekoma, North Dakota. The complex is unused due to concerns over its proximity to Canada. In fact, it was shut down soon after being completed.

4. North Dakota Has a Solar Calendar

A working solar calendar near Bottineau, N.D., can accurately predict astronomical events. Called Mystical Horizons, it’s similar to Stonehenge in England and overlooks the prairie farmland. The site also includes a human-sized sundial.

5. North Dakota Was Either the 39th or 40th State Admitted to the Union

It’s common knowledge that North Dakota became a state in 1889. But even though North Dakota is called the 39th state, this might not be the case. When President Benjamin Harrison signed the document to admit North Dakota to the Union, he signed South Dakota’s document as well. He kept it a secret as to which document he signed first. Alphabetically, North Dakota comes before South Dakota, which is why it’s recognized as the 39th state.

6. The Clothes Dryer Was Invented in North Dakota

Do you use your clothes dryer all the time? If so, you can thank a North Dakotan for the invention of this handy home appliance. In the early 20th century, a man named J. Ross Moore was becoming tired of hanging his clothes outside to dry. Drying clothes outside was exceptionally inconvenient during the cold winter months. For over three decades, Moore worked on inventing a clothes dryer. After he came up with a drum-type model, Hamilton Manufacturing in Wisconsin agreed to mass-produce his invention. They sold the first dryers in 1938.

7. North Dakota is Home to Many Famous Folks

Some of the biggest celebrities are from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other exciting places. However, you might be surprised to know that North Dakota is home to many famous folks as well, such as:

  • Baseball player Roger Maris (grew up in Grand Forks)
  • NBA player and coach Phil Jackson (attended school in Williston)
  • Author Louis L’Amour (born in Jamestown)
  • Singer Bobby Vee (born in Fargo)
  • Actress Angie Dickinson (born in Kulm)
  • Boxer Virgil Hill (grew up in Grand Forks and Williston)
  • Entertainer Lawrence Welk (born in Strasburg)
  • Singer Peggy Lee (born in Jamestown)
  • Actor Sam Anderson (born in Wahpeton)
  • Guitarist Shannon Curfman (born in Fargo)
  • Actor Josh Duhamel (born and raised in Minot)
  • Baseball player Darin Erstad (born and raised in Jamestown)
  • Musician Johnny Lang (grew up in Fargo)
  • Poet Larry Woiwode (born in Carrington and lived in Mott)
  • NHL player Cliff “Fido” Purpur (born in Grand Forks, where he also coached hockey)
  • Quarterback Carson Wentz (raised in Bismarck)
  • Actress Leslie Bibb (born in Bismarck)
  • Professional poker player Greg Raymer (born in Minot)
  • Baseball player Chris Coste (born and raised in Fargo)
  • Actor Kellan Lutz (born in Dickinson)
  • Astronaut James Buchli (born in New Rockford)

This list of famous North Dakotans would not be complete without mentioning beauty pageant contestant, Cara Mund from Bismarck. In 2018, Mund was the first North Dakotan to be crowned Miss America.

8. North Dakota Is Home to an Enchanted Castle

An Enchanted Highway leads to Regent, North Dakota where travelers can stay in a 23-room Enchanted Castle. Once the town’s elementary school, artist Gary Greff transformed it. It wasn’t his first project in the area, either. Back in 1991, Greff began welding giant metal sculptures to line the newly paved road off I-94’s Exit 72. Since then, he’s completed 8 scenes from Gladstone to Regent. The most recent is a Dragon and Knight.

Enchanted Highway Castle
Enchanted Highway Castle
Enchanted Highway Grasshopper
Enchanted Highway Knight








9. North Dakota IS Home to National Day Calendar

That’s right! National Day Calendar is based in Mandan, North Dakota. Come visit the Celebrate Every Day headquarters!

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