How did Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, get its name?

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The area was established as a military camp to protect railroad workers and was named Camp Hancock. The camp grew into a town and in 1872 it was named Edwinton after Edwin L. Johnson, who was a staunch supporter of the trans-continental railroad. The following year the secretary of the Northern Pacific Railroad changed the name to Bismarck to both honor German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and to encourage German settlers to come to the area. I don’t know if the “Iron Chancellor” was honored, but German settlers were not overly impressed and didn’t immediately flock to the area. The city survived an early period of lawlessness to become the territorial capital (1883) and then the state capital (1889). Q: On my pay stub there is the Social Security deduction listed under the heading FICA. What do the initials mean? A: Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The Social Security Administration says the money collected is, of course, a tax, but if it makes you feel better, they say you can ... more
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