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Eric Sevareid, 1960s commentator on the CBS Evening News.
Eric Sevareid, 1960s commentator on the CBS Evening News.

North Dakota Hall of Fame

Field review by the editors.

Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck must be one of the sleepiest, lowest-key political cities in America. The capitol mall is surrounded by quiet suburban homes. The state capitol building -- "The Skyscraper of the Prairie" -- is the tallest in North Dakota, all 19 stories of it.

The North Dakota Hall of Fame -- officially known as the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award Hall of Fame -- is literally that: a long hallway on the capitol's ground floor. The Hall wasn't begun until 1961, and its first inductee was Lawrence Welk. It's been an elite club ever since, with only 46 members as of 2023. Framed oil portraits of each honoree hang along both walls in the hallway, protected only by a velvet rope. The portraits from the earlier years have those warm, saturated Kodachrome colors that remind one of 1950s illustrations from The Saturday Evening Post.

While you might -- might -- recognize TV and music personalities such as Peggy Lee, Angie Dickinson, Bobby Vee, and Eric Sevareid, you will probably not recognize Harold Schafer (founder of the Gold Seal Company, maker of Mr. Bubble), Bob Bahmer (the fourth United States Archivist: 1966-1969) and Casper Oimoen (a bricklayer who became captain of the U.S. 1936 Olympic ski team). One point is clear: In order to get into the North Dakota Hall of Fame it helps to become famous outside of North Dakota.

North Dakota Hall of Fame

State Capitol

Address:
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Bismarck, ND
Directions:
Northeast side of downtown. State St. exit off of I-94, south less than a mile. Head for the tallest office building you can see on your right -- it's the State Capitol. The Hall of Fame is on its ground floor.
Hours:
M-F 9-11 and 1-3 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
701-328-2480
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Dazed Children of the FutureDazed Children of the Future, Bismarck, ND - < 1 mi.
Reflections: Big Shiny Ball and EagleReflections: Big Shiny Ball and Eagle, Bismarck, ND - 2 mi.
Four-Headed Thunderbird StatueFour-Headed Thunderbird Statue, Bismarck, ND - 2 mi.
In the region:
Salem Sue, World's Largest Holstein Cow, New Salem, ND - 30 mi.

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