Take the quiz…

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It’s no secret that students coming out of our high schools lack knowledge of history and geography.
Is it poorly taught, does the curriculum matter to school boards, maybe students themselves just don’t like it, or is there some other reason not publicly known.
Regardless, we often lack this knowledge and when we become adults and move onto college and the professional world, we should at least have some kind of knowledge of history and geography.
Just to give you an example here’s a quiz. See if you can answer any of these questions. I’ll put the answers at the end of the article, but don’t look. Try your best to answer these history and geography questions linked to North Dakota before looking at the answer key.
1.) What was Rupert’s Land?
2.) Portal is one of three, 24-hour ports of entry. What else makes it unique?
3.) Can you name the three top railroads operating in North Dakota?
4.) Sugar beets are grown in two areas of the state. What are they?
5.) Who was Ethel Catherwood?
6.) What was Bismarck called before it was Bismarck?
7.) What are the tallest and lowest elevation points in North Dakota?
8.) What professional sports team is located only 60 miles from North Dakota?
9.) What famous person came here from Montreal 80 years before Lewis and Clark?
10.) In what community in North Dakota was Al Capone known to have frequented?
These are all basic history or geography questions that should be easy to answer. No. 2 might be a bit obscure, but the others… most of us should know.
It points out that we are lacking in this knowledge. The same holds true for foreign languages. Young people are now taking a second language in schools, but up until recently, most of us didn’t have a second language and can only speak English.
Those of us who are Baby Boomers often had or have parents that spoke a second and even a third language. German, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, and some back then knew Spanish or French.
My mother, whose family came from the German part of Switzerland, spoke fluent German and translated letters that came to North Dakota from Germany and Switzerland. But she never taught us German. I wish she had because it’s much harder to learn it as an adult.
Back when Jay Leno was the host for the Tonight Show, he went out on the streets one night to ask people questions similar to those above. One question was where is North Dakota? The answer he got was, “Isn’t that over by Chicago someplace.”
If you’re looking at a map of North America, I guess it’s in the neighborhood, but in reality it’s three states away and approximately 800 miles.
Answer key:
1.) The part of North Dakota that was part of Canada before 1818 because it’s in the Hudson Bay drainage.
2.) Calling North Portal, into another country, is a local call.
3.) Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian Pacific, Dakota Missouri Valley and Western.
4.) The northern Red River Valley and extreme western McKenzie County.
5.) She was born in Hannah and became a Canadian Olympic athlete.
6.) Edwinton.
7.) White Butte is the tallest and Pembina is the lowest.
8.) Winnipeg Jets hockey team or Winnipeg Blue Bombers football team.
9.) Pierre de la Verendrye.
10.) Minot.

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