Part 2: National and State Government

Section 14: Headquarters of North Dakota Government

North Dakota government is headquartered in the state’s capital, Bismarck. The city of Bismarck is located along the Missouri River in Burleigh County in south central North Dakota.

Bismarck has been North Dakota’s capital since 1889 when North Dakota became a state. It was also the capital of Dakota Territory between 1883 and 1889. The building that was built as the territorial capital in 1883 was destroyed by fire on December 28, 1930. A new state Capitol was built in the early 1930s.

Most North Dakota government buildings are located in Bismarck. The main buildings include the state Capitol, the Department of Transportation building, the Heritage Center & State Museum, and the Liberty Memorial Building. North Dakota’s Legislative Assembly meets in the state Capitol. The Governor, other executive branch officials, and the Supreme Court all have offices in the state Capitol.

The Department of Transportation building has offices for the highway department and driver’s license division. The Heritage Center is North Dakota’s state museum and the headquarters of the State Historical Society. Many of the state’s important historical documents and items are housed in the state archives at the Heritage Center. The Liberty Memorial Building houses the State Library which is available for all citizens of North Dakota.

Bismarck is North Dakota’s capital city

Figure 27. Bismarck is North Dakota’s capital city. North Dakota’s Capitol is known as the “Skyscraper on the Prairie” because it is so tall. (ND Tourism)