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Howe unveils 2023-25 North Dakota Blue Book, recognizes Jaeger

Posted 12/14/23 (Thu)


North Dakota Secretary of State Michael Howe unveiled the 36th North Dakota Blue Book -- a compilation of state facts and history -- during a celebration at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

The volunteer-created book has been published every two years since 1995, and chronicles details about North Dakota’s history ranging from events such as  presidential visits to information about the state’s national parks. This year’s book highlights historic sites and museums, as well as the 100th anniversary of the North Dakota Health Department and the 150th anniversary of the city of Bismarck last year.

Dozens of volunteers from state agencies, libraries and the general public come together to put each Blue Book together. As he discussed the history of Blue Books, Howe thanked those who helped create this year’s book -- as well as the government employees and elected officials who attended.

“You're a part of history; you're part of this book,” Howe said. “Thank you for what you do for the state.”

At the event, Howe recognized former Secretary of State Al Jaeger for his years of work on the production and distribution of 14 previous Blue Book iterations. Jaeger was elected to the office in 1992 and served for three decades before retiring.

The Blue Book was previously published inconsistently, but Jaeger made it a biennial effort and spurred the inclusion of a different featured chapter in each iteration of the book. This year’s book is the first biennial edition that wasn’t overseen by Jaeger.

He said the book’s chronicling of state history is an important record for future North Dakotans. But it can also be a solemn reminder in some cases: Next year’s book, Jaeger said, will commemorate Deputy Paul Martin, a Mercer County sheriff's deputy who was killed when a chase with the 42-year-old son of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer last week ended in a crash.

“There's a section in here that lists peace officers,” Jaeger said, holding up the ceremonial first copy of the book as his voice cracked slightly. “I was reminded a couple hours ago that the next edition of the Blue Book will have an edit. It will be adding the name of Deputy Martin.”

The Blue Book is available for $20 from the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum store. Digitized past Blue Book editions are available online at