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5 Fun Facts About December 17 In North Dakota History

---Learn Every Day: ND Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history nd To: 618-270-4005---

1. Statehood Day: December 17 is celebrated as North Dakota Statehood Day. In 1889, North Dakota was admitted to the Union as the 39th state.
2. Weather Record: On December 17, 1936, Rugby, North Dakota recorded a temperature of -60 °F (-51 °C), which is the coldest temperature ever recorded in the state.
3. Military History: On December 17, 1944, Fargo native Vernon J. Baker, a member of the U.S. Army's 370th Infantry Regiment, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in World War II.
4. Cultural Heritage: The traditional Native American dance known as the Round Dance has its roots in North Dakota, and December 17 is observed as National Round Dance Day.
5. Scientific Advancement: In 1953, Harold C. Urey, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and University of Chicago professor, discovered deuterium (a form of hydrogen) while conducting research at the then-named University of North Dakota's Institute of Atmospheric Sciences.
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