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North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
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ND State Capitol Building December 19, 1934:
Picture of ND Capitol at Easter 1934 Photo credit: Jim Eastgate
This was the first time the Capitol lights were used to show a design. There was also a star immediatley above it, which was built by capitol workmen. It was 16 feet in diameter at the inner circle and contained 120 electric lights. Some of the lights and wiring was loaned by the local electric company because there was no appropriation to buy them. (Source: The Bismarck Tribune, Thrusday, December 20, 1934).

Picture of Christmas Tree on Capitol Tower windows Photo credit: Garry Redmann


History of the Christmas tree window lighting began in the mid 1940's using paper shades to color the north and south window openings. Plastic shades were purchased in the late 1950's and the current colored plastic shades were purchased in 1993. There are a total of 88 shades used to get the Christmas tree on both the north and south side of the building. Each side North and the South has 20 red and 24 green shades to create the tree.

Picture of lighting of New Years date on Capitol Tower windowsPhoto credit: Garry Redmann
Picture of lighting of the New Years date on Capitol Tower windows Photo credit: Garry Redmann

buffalo statuePhoto credit: Shirley Olgeirson
2012 Window DisplayPhoto credit: Shirley Olgeirson

Picture Capitol Photo credit: Shirley Olgeirson
The New Year numbers tradition started in the mid 1970's with lighting the numbers on the north and south sides of the building.  Then in the late 1980's the windows on the east and west sides were illuminated to highlight the New Year.

Picture of Capitol on July 4th Photo credit: Clint Fleckenstein
We also light the south side of the Capitol windows on July 4th.
Pictures of setting up the 21-23 foot Christmas Tree
Decorated Christmas Tree in Memorial Hall
2003 Christmas Tree dedicated to our troops