Hometown Series: North Dakota

Hometown Series: North Dakota
Once Scratchpad Tees was off and running with its home state shirt, we started looking for other states to conquer and naturally, North Dakota seemed like a natural. Our neighbor to the north became the second Hometown shirt in our burgeoning line, which is always fun because it causes us to plunge into research about the state.  And like several other shirts of this nature, it has gotten better and better over the 4+ years since we started selling it.
Eastern North Dakota is astonishingly flat. Mind-blowingly flat, or tabletop flat, as they call it up there. Fortunately, we're only looking at it from on top of it, so we don't have to represent that topography with our shirt. The overall shape of the state is not particularly intriguing, given that the Red River forms the eastern border of the state while the other three sides were drawn by the hand of politicians, not God, but we're here to play the hand we're dealt. 
North Dakota is listed as the least-visited state in the country, but we think it deserves better. Might have something to do with those legendary winters, or that the wind never stops blowing, And did we mention that it's flat? Fortunately, the scenery gets better the further west you go, much like our home state. Yes, there are Badlands in North Dakota and they contain Theodore Roosevelt National Forest, which is listed on our Hometown North Dakota shirt. We don't usually put anything but hometowns on these shirts, but there's not a whole lot o' hometowns anywhere in that part of the state, so for the first time, we added a natural resource as a listing. You'll be glad we did. 
We also listed a whole lot of communities in the northeast corner of the state. Seems they have to do something with the billions of dollars in fossil fuel money that's flowing through the state these days and someone decided Pembina County deserves a bunch of it. We used to call places like that "Boom Town". Not sure if anything is happening up there yet, but our shirt is ready for it whenever it comes. 
Most of the action in North Dakota takes place in the region around Lake Sakakawea, which is fun to say drunk or sober. It's the nation's third largest artificial lake. We're not sure exactly what that means, and I'm sure all the fish swimming around in it don't much care where the faucet is located. It's big and beautiful and lots of people love this place, formed by the Missouri River and Garrison Dam. Check it out. 
For a state with not a lot of people, there's a fascinating array of diverse talents that call a place in North Dakota their hometown. The same state that brought us western author Louis L'Amour (Jamestown) also gave birth to Chuck Klosterman (Wahpeton), culture writer wizard who wrote Fargo Rock City. The same state that gave us accordionist-bandleader Lawrence Welk (Strasburg) also gave us rapper Wiz Khalifa (Minot). Toe-tapping music in any genre. And there's more, including Angie Dickinson (Kulm), Peggy Lee (Jamestown), Bobby Vee (Fargo) and Norwegian blues guitarist Jonny Lang (Fargo). Because it's always the people that make a state great. 
Back in 1889, President Benjamin Harrison was getting ready to make Dakota Territory the 39th state in the Union, which is a pretty big deal that doesn't happen much anymore. At the last minute, he decided that his political party could benefit from adding four new Senators rather than the proscribed two that a new state would get him. So he drew a line right across the middle and formed North and South Dakota with the proverbial "stroke of the pen". Then he shuffled the papers around so that no one would know which state came first to enter the Union. Then he shared the news on his Facebook page. Er...no wait, that can't be right. 
North Dakota contains the tallest man-made structure in the Western Hemisphere, the KVLY-TV mast.
North Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, along with its neighboring state, South Dakota. It was either the 39th or 40th state admitted to the union. Before signing the statehood papers, President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the papers so that no one could tell which became a state firs
North Dakota has the most churches per capita of any state
The state dance is the square dance.