1889, Baby Alaska, Canada, contraction, Dakota, Dakotans, Dennis Daugaard, District of Columbia, Fargo, hicks, Iowa, Jack Dalrymple, Minot, North Dakota, Pierre, places that suck, Puerto Rico, Rapid City, South Dakota, United States of America, yokels
Pierre, Dakota: Monday at 3:15 PM CST Governors Jack Dalrymple and Dennis Daugaard of the former states of North and South Dakota respectively, will flip a coin to see who will be governor of the new state of Dakota. The two relatively-unpopulated states were contracted earlier this month to form a much larger, relatively-unpopulated state.
Although the idea of combining the two superfluous states was first floated in the spring of 1890 following the news of the Prairie Twins’ statehood in 1889, it was only in the Twenty-First Century that the scheme came to fruition. Much of the opposition came from Dakotans themselves, who stubbornly continued to see themselves as having distinct cultural identities, North and South. The bulk of the effort was invested in persuading the American people that North and South Dakota were actually existing states, and not different neighborhoods of the same mid-sized Iowa town.
The jubilation felt by most Dakotans is a stark counterpoint to the indifference experienced by the rest of the world. “A real state at last!” says Cody “Eyeball” Jenkins, mayor of Rapid City, echoing the sentiments of giddy yokels across the prairie. For some, the excitement is translated into unrealistic expectations. “People gonna hold conventions here, by gum!” says Milton Wiffley, of Killdeer, “Maybe we even gonna get a professional sports team.” ‘Rasslin’ aside, this appears to be a pipe-dream.
Not everybody is so thrilled. Many North Dakotans, recently the recipients of an oil windfall, don’t want to share their new-found good fortune with their neighbors to the south. “They’ve got Indian reservations and bingo,” says Maynard Gumm of Fargo, “Let ’em keep ’em!” Educators, in particular, are concerned about the newly-combined history curriculum. “Can you imagine?” asks Carol Whitley, formerly a South Dakota teacher, “We’ll have to sacrifice valuable South Dakota history like the 1893 Corn Blight in favor of historical nonevents like the Minot Dirt-Farmer’s strike of 1912.”
It’s difficult to say what unforseen externalities the Dakota Contraction will produce, but no one questions that there will be effects. One possibility is that, the US populace having grown accustomed to 50 states, another district or territory will be granted statehood. The most likely candidates are the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or Canada.
Dakota’s entry to the Union is an event about which everyone will be talking for days to come. Then, the creeping tide of ignorance will rise to wash over the public’s memory, robbing the national consciousness once again even of the memory of Dakotas’s existence.