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North Dakota played a significant role in the development of the U.S. space program. During the 1950s and 1960s, the state was home to several missile bases and launch sites that were used to test and develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Pembina County, located in the northeastern part of North Dakota, has a rich history dating back centuries. Before European settlement, the region was occupied by Indigenous peoples, particularly the Assiniboine and Dakota Sioux tribes. The area was frequented by fur traders and explorers, including the famous French-Canadian fur trader Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, who visited the area in the late 18th century.

The first permanent European settlement in Pembina County was established by Scottish and Irish settlers in the early 19th century. The Hudson's Bay Company also had a strong presence in the region, using the Red River of the North as a major transportation route. The fur trade played a significant role in the early development of the county and the area became an important fur-trading center.

In the mid-19th century, Pembina County was part of Dakota Territory, which encompassed a large portion of the northern Great Plains. In 1871, the county was officially organized, and Pembina was named the county seat. The area experienced rapid growth during this time, with the arrival of settlers from various parts of the United States and Europe.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the expansion of agriculture in Pembina County, with wheat becoming a dominant crop. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further facilitated economic development in the area. Over the years, Pembina County has faced various challenges including natural disasters like floods, but it has remained a vital part of North Dakota's history and continues to be an important agricultural region in the state.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Pembina County, North Dakota.

  • 1818: Pembina becomes the first European settlement in North Dakota when fur traders set up a trading post near the Red River
  • 1823: The Selkirk settlers establish a settlement on the Red River near present-day Pembina
  • 1871: The first courthouse in Pembina County is built in the town of Pembina
  • 1885: Pembina becomes an important transportation hub with the arrival of the Great Northern Railway
  • 1905: Cavalier is established as the new county seat, replacing Pembina
  • 1957: The construction of the Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area begins, creating a popular outdoor recreational destination
  • 2000: The population of Pembina County reaches its peak at over 8,585 residents
  • 2011: The historic Pembina County Courthouse in Cavalier is destroyed by fire
  • 2020: Pembina County celebrates its bicentennial, marking 200 years since its first European settlement