1. In 1890, the United States government officially declared North Dakota as the 39th state of the union, with Bismarck as its capital. The state's name derives from the Dakota tribe, which inhabited the area for centuries.
2. In 1949, a massive blizzard known as the "Blizzard of 1949" hit North Dakota, causing widespread damage and claiming dozens of lives. The storm dumped more than a foot of snow, with winds reaching up to 85 mph in some areas.
3. On December 19, 1961, Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota became the first installation to host the new Minuteman missile, a nuclear weapon designed to be launched from underground silos. The missile played a critical role in the Cold War and was a major component of the United States' nuclear deterrence strategy.
4. In 1992, the Fargo-Moorhead flood of 1992 began, which became one of the worst floods in North Dakota history, causing over $1 billion in damages. The Red River, which flows through the cities of Fargo and Moorhead, crested at nearly 41 feet, 23 feet above flood stage.
5. On December 19, 2005, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven declared a state of emergency due to a massive snowstorm that paralyzed much of the state. The storm brought more than 20 inches of snow to some areas and caused significant disruptions to travel and commerce.
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