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Choices choices for the long weekend

We’ve got some great ways to enjoy the Independence Day weekend in North Dakota!  Celebrate Americana with a big ol Yee-Haw at Mandan Rodeo Days or Dickinson Roughrider Days.  These legendary events are part of “Cowboy Christmas.”  Or get thee to Medora where your celebration can include parade, fireworks, the famed Medora Musical, pitchfork fondue, golf, hiking Theodore Roosevelt National Park, touring the Chateau de Mores and much more!

Or perhaps you’re craving the tranquility of water at a picturesque lake.  From Lake Metigoshe on the North Dakota-Canadian border to great fisheries like Lake Sakakawea and Devils Lake – you can find your piece of chill served with a big walleye.

One of my personal faves for the weekend is the “Quasquicentennial” celebration in Hankinson.  I may not know how to pronounce the word for 125th anniversary but I do know organizers have planned a lot of fun events including a wife-carrying contest!  Talk about funny!

Find more events highlighted in our “What To Do” news release and on our website.

Flooding concerns?

Perhaps you’ve heard about floods and water issues affecting a few North Dakota towns and cities.  Rest assured, a vast majority of our attractions, events and visitor services are OPEN!  Our travel counselors are maintaining a great list of the areas affected and we’ve detailed the impact in this press release along with links to the North Dakota Dept. of Transportation for highway information and the ND State Parks and Recreation website for campground info.

We encourage visitors to plan ahead and check routes and services to ensure their vacation is filled with legendary fun!  Our free Travel Guide is a great planning tool.  Order it, along with maps and other free brochures, online.  Or stop at a North Dakota rest area and pick one up!

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Saluting Sakakawea today (and every day)

March is Women’s History Month and today is International Women’s Day.  Arguably one of the most inspiring and influential women in North Dakota’s history is none other than the interpreter and guide Sakakawea who accompanied Lewis & Clark on the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific Ocean.

Sakakawea’s fascinating history can be explored at the North Dakota Heritage Center – the largest museum in the state, located in the Capitol city of Bismarck.  An online exhibit dedicated to Sakakawea is place to whet your appetite.

One of the foremost authorities on Sakakawea, Clay Jenkinson, writes about her in the book “A Vast and Open Plain.”  Jenkinson details what is known about this American Indian icon.  She was probably born among the Shoshone Indians around 1787.  She was captured at about the age of 11.  She spent the next five or six years among the Hidatsas and by the time Lewis and Clark arrived in late October 1804, she was one of the wives of French-Canadian trader Toussaint Charbonneau.

Jenkinson writes that it is certain Sakakawea joined the expedition primarily to interpret among the Shoshones, and her value must have been considerable because she made the immense journey to the Pacific Coast and back again to the Hidatsa villages carrying her infant child, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.

Today on International Women’s Day, we salute this pioneering woman who truly is Legendary.  Follow in her footsteps along the Lewis & Clark Trail in North Dakota and even enjoying one of the nation’s largest man-made lakes, named in her honor – Lake Sakakawea.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Events, History

 

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206th birthday of Sakakawea’s son

Sakakawea statue at the entrance to the North Dakota Heritage Center. Photo by Sharon Silengo

On the North Dakota State Capitol grounds in Bismarck, a 12-foot high bronze statue of Sakakawea and her baby son, Baptiste, stands at the entrance to the Heritage Center – the state’s largest museum.  The statue, created by Chicago sculpture Leonard Crunelle, depicts Sakakawea with her baby strapped to her back, looking westward toward the country she helped open on the Corp of Discovery.  The story of Sakakawea is fascinating and unique and it can now be explored through a new display and an online exhibit by the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

A special piece of that story surrounds newborn baby Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.  Today, February 11, marks the 206th birthday of Baptiste.  In the book “A Vast and Open Plain” edited by North Dakota’s own Clay Jenkinson, we find how Captain Meriwether Lewis documented the birth.

“about five oclock this evening one of the wives of Charbono was delivered of a fine boy. it is worthy of remark that this was the first child which this woman had boarn and as is common in such cases her labour was tedious and the pain violent; Mr. Jessome informed me that he had freequently administered a small portion of the rattle of a rattle-snake, which he assured me had never failed to produce the desired effect, that of hastening the birth of the child; having the rattle of a snake by me I gave it to him and he administered two rings of it to the woman broken in small pieces with the fingers and added to a small quantity of water. Whether this medicine was truly the cause or not I shall not undertake to determine, but I was informed that she had not taken it more than ten minutes before she brought forth”

It is not fully known if Baptiste (also nicknamed Pomp or Pompy by Lieutenant William Clark) was born at Fort Mandan, or nearby.  He remains the only infant to be a part of a major exploration and to ever be depicted on United States currency.  More about Sakakawea’s son is also online with the “Creating Sakakawea” exhibit.

Visitors to North Dakota can learn more about Sakakawea, Baptiste, the Corp of Discovery and the Mandan and Hidatsa peoples along the Lewis & Clark Trail in North Dakota and notably at the Heritage Center, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan, and numerous Trail attractions.

A replica of the Sakakawea statue is also on display at the U.S. Capitol.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Attractions, Events, History

 

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Jean Baptiste Charbonneau – the youngest member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

On February 11, 1805, Captain Meriwether Lewis wrote: ” … about five oclock this evening one of the wives of Charbono was delivered of a fine boy.”  This was the first journal entry of the infant, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, who would become the youngest member of the Corp of Discovery.  Charbonneau traveled from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean and back as an infant, carried along in the expedition’s boats or upon his mother’s back.

Charbonneau’s image can be found on the Sakakawea dollar.  He is the only child ever depicted on U.S. currency.

The majesty of the Lewis & Clark Expedition can be discovered in North Dakota, at Fort Mandan and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center – along with many other historical sites along the Lewis & Clark Trail in ND.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2010 in Attractions, History, North Dakota Buzz

 

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