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ND kicks off its celebration of 125 years of statehood

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota should honor its rich history and look to the future as it celebrates its 125th year of statehood, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Tuesday.

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“This is a great, historic moment,” Dalrymple told more than 100 people who gathered at the state Capitol in Bismarck to kick off a yearlong celebration of statehood. “It’s going to be a great time.”

Tuesday’s gathering included musical acts and entertainment. A logo featuring a huge bison head and sheaves of wheat also was unveiled and will be used for promotional purposes throughout the year. The logo by West Fargo artist Eric Falde was chosen from submissions entered in a contest last summer.

Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley chaired the committee that organized the 125th anniversary celebration and judged the logo submissions.

North Dakota and South Dakota were both granted statehood on Nov. 2, 1889. President Benjamin Harrison signed the admission papers for the two states on that day. North Dakota became the 39th state, and South Dakota the 40th.

Legend says Harrison shuffled the statehood papers before signing them.

Dalrymple and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard plan to take part in events in each other’s state. South Dakota’s celebration of its 125th anniversary of statehood will include a wagon train that will travel from Yankton to Pierre in September.

North Dakota’s celebration will include a daylong event on Aug. 16 at the state Capitol grounds that will feature a number of musical acts and entertainment.

The grand opening for the new North Dakota Heritage Center is scheduled for the Nov. 2 anniversary. The center on the state Capitol grounds is home to the State Historical Society of North Dakota and is the state’s official history museum.