For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
BISMARCK, N.D., April 15, 2019 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Monday applauded Gov. Doug Burgum’s "Patriots’ Day" proclamation in North Dakota, which honors those who fought for our nation’s independence from Great Britain.
The proclamation is in keeping with the state Constitution’s emphasis on fostering a "high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity and morality" in North Dakota to ensure the continuance of self-government and the "prosperity and happiness of the people," Baesler said.
In writing the North Dakota Constitution, the state’s founders emphasized that a "uniform system of free public schools" was necessary to encourage patriotic values, the superintendent said.
Baesler noted that North Dakota students are required to pass a national civics exam in order to graduate from high school, and that the Legislature has included instruction in U.S. history, U.S. government and problems of democracy in a list of required high school coursework.
"Remembering and honoring the principles upon which this nation was founded is a critical step in teaching the next generation of young people the value and importance of good citizenship," Baesler said.
The governor on Monday signed a proclamation declaring the third Monday in April as Patriots’ Day in North Dakota. The proclamation is in keeping with HB1169, a bill sponsored by Rep. Austen Schauer, R-West Fargo, which Burgum signed into law March 19.
Massachusetts and Maine have celebrated the Patriots’ Day holiday for many years. Wisconsin has counted it since 2001 as one of 21 "special observance days." In Connecticut, Patriots’ Day is one of 86 special commemorations the governor is required to issue each year.
The first Patriots’ Day was proclaimed by Massachusetts Gov. Frederic Greenhalge on April 19, 1894 to celebrate Liberty and Union.
It was originally intended as a remembrance of the beginning of the Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775, when colonial militiamen clashed with British troops in the towns of Lexington and Concord, Mass., and of the first bloodshed of the Civil War in April 1861, when Confederate forces shelled Fort Sumter near Charlestown, S.C., and Union militia and Confederate sympathizers clashed in a series of street battles in Baltimore. The conflicts became known as the Pratt Street Riots.