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5 Fun Facts About May 17 In North Dakota History

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1. North Dakota's Statehood: On May 17, 1884, North Dakota was granted statehood, becoming the 39th state in the United States. It was part of a historic double admission with South Dakota.

2. Discovery of Oil: On May 17, 1951, the discovery of oil in Williston Basin brought a boom of economic growth to North Dakota. The Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin remains one of the most significant oil sources in the country.

3. First Air Force Base: On May 17, 1942, the Minot Army Air Field was established, which later became the Minot Air Force Base. The base played a significant role in the Cold War and remains an important military installation in the state.

4. First Steamboat Arrival: On May 17, 1872, the steamboat "Selkirk" arrived in Fargo, marking the first steamboat to reach the town via the Red River of the North. This event opened up new opportunities for trade and commerce in the region.

5. National Historic Site Designation: On May 17, 1974, the Knife River Indian Villages were designated a National Historic Site. The villages served as an important cultural and trading center for the Northern Plains Indians for more than 300 years. Today, the site is a popular tourist destination and a designated World Heritage Site.
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