Known for its natural beauty and wildlife, North Dakota inspired Teddy Roosevelt, the conservation president, to create the U.S. Forest Service and 150 national forests and designate five national parks, including the first in North Dakota: Sullys Hill. Teddy Roosevelt National Park is also in North Dakota. The land that is North Dakota became a U.S. territory as a result of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Explorers Lewis and Clark met their Shoshone guide, Sacagawea, in North Dakota in 1804, and the Corps of Discovery spent more time in North Dakota than any other state. Both North and South Dakota became states in 1889, and no one knows which is the 39th state and which is the 40th. Such was the rivalry between the states that U.S. Secretary of State James Blaine, on President Benjamin Harrison's orders not to play favorites, deliberately mixed up the paperwork so that neither could claim to be first. Alphabetical order gives North Dakota the 39th spot.
North Dakota is rich in natural resources including one of the largest oil reserves in the world. An oil boom in the early 2000s, generated by advanced horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques, gave North Dakota low unemployment and high per capita income. Agriculture is the number one industry in North Dakota, employing nearly 25 percent of the population on farms that produce wheat, sunflowers, canola and flaxseed, among other crops.