North Dakota Government site North Dakota Tourism site

USS North Dakota

USS North DakotaUSS North Dakota. SHSND 2002-P-15 Album2-P14b

On November 10, 1908, the first American dreadnought battleship, the USS North Dakota was christened by Mary Benton of Fargo as it slid from its construction site into the water. The ship was the biggest, heaviest, and fastest ship yet built by any navy. The ship, its builders, the Navy, the United States, and North Dakota were praised in superlatives. The Fargo Forum printed a front page headline declaring the ship to be “Uncle Sam’s Biggest Peacemaker.” Governor John Burke, speaking at the formal launching ceremonies stated that “this is the greatest fighting machine in the world, and named after the greatest agricultural state in this union.”

Lesson plans to teach students about the USS North Dakota are available for grades 4, 8, and high school. These lessons—primary documents and research from the archives of the State Historical Society of North Dakota—offer students, teachers, and the general public an opportunity to study this unique story in our state’s history. Teachers may use these online lessons to teach about early 20th century North Dakota history or to supplement discussions in connection with the launching of the new USS North Dakota submarine in 2014.

Grade 4 Lesson - USS North Dakota 
Grade 8 Lesson - The Floating Community 
High School Lesson - The All-Big-Gun Debate