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5 Fun Facts About May 4 In North Dakota History

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1. May 4, 1961: First US Manned Space Mission
On May 4, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to enter space. His spacecraft, Mercury-Redstone 3, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and went on a suborbital trajectory for 15 minutes and 22 seconds. Shepard was a native of New Hampshire, but he trained in North Dakota as part of the Naval Aviation Cadet program.

2. May 4, 1909: North Dakota Admitted to the Union
On May 4, 1909, North Dakota became the 39th state to be admitted to the Union. The state was formed out of the Dakota Territory, which was created in 1861. North Dakota produces wheat, barley, and other crops, which make it an important agricultural state.

3. May 4, 1978: Tornado Strikes Medina
On May 4, 1978, a tornado hit the town of Medina, North Dakota, killing nine people and injuring over 200 more. The town was devastated by the twister, which was classified as an F3 on the Fujita scale. In the aftermath of the disaster, many volunteers helped with the cleanup efforts and with rebuilding the town.

4. May 4, 1932: Massena Bank Robbery
On May 4, 1932, a group of bandits robbed the Bank of Massena in North Dakota, taking $2,940 in cash and $23,000 worth of securities. The robbers were apprehended by local authorities, and three of them were sentenced to prison. The incident became known as the "Massena Bank Robbery" and was widely covered in the national press.

5. May 4, 1969: Shooting at UND
On May 4, 1969, a student protest at the University of North Dakota turned violent when police officers fired tear gas and shotguns at the demonstrators. The incident occurred during a rally against the Vietnam War, and became known as the "UND Shooting". No one was killed in the incident, but several students were injured. The shooting led to a wave of protests and unrest on college campuses across the country.
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