The land that became the State of North Dakota was part of the territory included in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was explored by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark at the request of President Thomas Jefferson. This expedition spent the winter of 1804–1805 in Mandan Indian country where they built Fort Mandan on the Missouri River at a point near Bismarck, the state’s present capital city. The explorers experienced a climate of extremes; warm days and cool nights, hot summers and cold winters, not much rain but lots of sunshine. Long before the United States...
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