In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!
NATIONAL NORTH DAKOTA DAY
On April 19, The Peace Garden State is recognized on National North Dakota Day.
Long before Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri River, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara arrived in North Dakota. During the Corps of Discovery, the team camped at Fort Mandan along the Missouri River for the winter. Here, their translators, Sacagawea and Charbonneau, joined the expedition. Sacagawea would also give birth to her son, Jean Baptiste.
As the settlement expanded, disputes over land increased. Fort Abraham Lincoln preserves the home of Gen. George and Libby Custer, the military commissary, blockhouses, and the Mandan Indian Village along the Missouri River.
Theodore Roosevelt arrived in North Dakota in 1883 and fell in love with badlands and outdoor life. He would later be elected the 26th U.S. President and served from 1901 to 1909. His love of the badlands led to his conservation and preservation efforts. The North Dakota Badlands are named Theodore Roosevelt National Park in his name.
I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota. ~Theodore Roosevelt
In the heart of the badlands, Medora came to life and today recreates the western life with entertainment in an outdoor amphitheater. Visit the Cowboy Hall of Fame and so much more in Medora.
When statehood crested the horizon, South Dakota was also in line for admission. President Benjamin Harrison signed the bills at random, and nothing was recorded indicating which bill was endorsed first. However, due to alphabetical order, North Dakota is listed as the 39th state to be admitted to the union.
Beyond historical sites, North Dakota boasts a healthy amount of scenic byways. Kayak down the Pembina Gorge or visit the International Peace Gardens. While you’re there, take a hike into the Turtle Mountains.
Camp at Devil’s Lake or tour any one of the many wineries and vineyards.Visit Sheyenne State Forest and seek out the only waterfall in the state.
Garrison Dam is the fifth largest earthen dam in the world and Lake Sakakawea‘s year-round fishing and recreation is an angler’s dream. At night, the skies reveal stars never seen before, and the Northern Lights dance with delight.
North Dakota is also where we #CelebrateEveryDay! As the home of National Day Calendar in Mandan, North Dakota, it’s our favorite place to be!
HOW TO OBSERVE
Join National Day Calendar as we seek the legendary in North Dakota. Explore the prairies and the badlands. Discover the fantastic people, exciting places, and untold history. Share where you explore and use #NationalNorthDakotaDay to post on social media.
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau - Explorer - (February 11, 1805 - May 16, 1866)
John Baptiste Charbonneau became the youngest member of the Corps of Discovery upon his birth at Ft. Mandan. The son of Touissant Charbonneau and Sacagawea, Jean Baptiste would remain with William Clark after the expedition’s completion. Following his education, his life would shift from one adventure to another until his death at the age of 61.
Madeline Gleason - Poet - (January 26, 1903 - April 22, 1979)
As an American poet, Madeline Gleason founded the San Fransisco Poetry Guild. Gleason also created the first poetry festival in the United States in 1947. She actively encouraged aspiring poets and wrote several plays which were performed in and around San Fransisco.
Lawrence Welk - Musician - (March 11, 1903 - May 17, 1992)
Bandleader, Lawrence Welk, brought wholesome music into the family rooms for more than two decades thanks to a syndication deal. His unique brand of “Champagne Music” and family-friendly programming continues to be found on Public Broadcasting stations.
Louis L'amour - Author - (March 22, 1908 - June 10, 1988)
Louis L’amour’s frontier novels bring to life western North Dakota and rural living. Along with short stories and poetry, his novels Hondo, Walking Drum and Last of the Breed are some of his most popular works.
Andrew Freeman - Engineer - (March 10, 1909 - January 17, 1996)
Electrical engineer, Andrew Freeman’s variety of employment during the Great Depression led him to gain an enormous amount of experience. As a result, his skills helped bring electricity to rural North Dakota and heat to frozen engines during the winter months. His invention of the Freeman Headbolt Heater kept fluids from freezing and batteries from going dead in subzero temperatures.
Harold Schafer - Businessman - (February 1, 1912 - December 2, 2001)
Harold Schafer founded the Gold Seal Company in 1942. Their first product was Gold Seal Floor Wax, but their most recognizable product debuted in 1961. Mr. Bubble continues to be a popular bath product for all ages today.
Eric Sevareid - Journalist - (November 26, 1912 - July 9, 1992)
Eric Sevareid began his career in radio. After being hired as a correspondent for CBS, Sevareid reported the foreign and domestic news. He covered World War II as one of “Murrow’s Boys,” and his commentaries were a feature in the 1960s.
Peggy Lee - Singer - (May 26, 1920 - January 21, 2002)
Jazz singer, Peggy Lee, shared her Fever for music and got her big break when she began to sing for Benny Goodman. Nominated for 12 Grammys, Lee won for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for “Is That All There Is?” in 1969. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
Metha Parisien Bercier - Author - (August 6, 1922 -)
Author of “Tomorrow,” My Sister Said; Tomorrow Never Came, Metha Parisien Bercier recounts her experiences and shares her heritage. The autobiographical novel describes fond memories of her childhood and then being taken from her family in the Turtle Mountains to attend government schools, something that was occurring across the nation after the Civilization Fund Act was passed.
Angie Dickinson - Actress - (September 30, 1931 - )
Angie Dickinson’s career includes a string of leading roles in both television and movies. From comedies to westerns, Dickinson’s role would connect her with the Hollywood elite. Some of her most popular roles were in the movies Rio Bravo, Ocean’s 11 and Pay it Foward.
Phil Hansen - Football Player - (May 20, 1968 -)
Phil Hansen played defensive end for the Buffalo Bills for nine seasons and three Super Bowl visits.
Josh Duhamel - Actor - ( November 14, 1972 -)
Josh Duhamel has performed in TV and film since 1999 but began his career in modeling. Repeat roles in the Transformers franchise, as well as romantic comedies and action films, keep Duhamel in demand. He also promotes his home state’s North Dakota tourism.
Travis Hafner - Baseball Player - (June 3, 1977 -)
Travis Hafner played Major League Baseball for nine seasons as a designated hitter and first baseman. Hafner debuted with the Texas Rangers and also played for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.
Carson Wentz - Football Player - (December 30, 1992 -)
Carson Wentz plays quarterback in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. In the 2017 season, Wentz would lead the Eagles most of the way to the Super Bowl before a season-ending injury. They would go on to win over the New England Patriots, earning both the franchise and Wentz their first Super Bowl win.
Cara Mund - Miss America - (December 8, 1993 -)
Crowned the 2018 Miss America, Cara Mund organizes the annual fashion show raising funds for Make-a-Wish Foundation. Following completion of her Miss America responsibilities, she plans to attend law school.