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Happy Birthday, North Dakota

North Dakota’s 128th anniversary of statehood is Wednesday.

President Benjamin Harrison signed the Proclamation of Admission for North Dakota and South Dakota on Nov. 2, 1889. The formal official process toward statehood began on Feb. 22, 1889, when President Grover Cleveland signed the Enabling Act that was passed by the Congress.

North Dakota and South Dakota were part of the Dakota Territory created in 1861, which included much of the present-day states of Montana and Wyoming. History did not record whether North Dakota or South Dakota was signed into statehood first by Harrison.

An election was held on May 14, 1889, to elect 75 delegates to a Constitutional Convention, which was held in Bismarck from July 4 to Aug. 17. The voters approved the new constitution, which was a requirement for admission on Oct. 1, 1889.

Statehood passed with 77 percent of 35,548 voters. The population of the state was approximately 190,000 but women did not have the right to vote until 1920.

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