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Jonathan Harper, left, and James O'Rourke measure a painting by artist Jonathan Twingley on Wednesday while setting up an Abraham Lincoln exhibit at the Rourke Museum in Moorhead. (David Samson/The Forum)

Historians: Lincoln paved way for North Dakota

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FARGO - The United States has many reasons to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday today.

North Dakota, the union's 39th state, can probably thank the nation's 16th president for its existence.

Lincoln signed legislation approving the first transcontinental railroads, paving the way for creation of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

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