In 1947, Mrs. Myrtle Anderson, president of the American Legion Auxiliary (1946-1947), organized the first Flickertail Girls State session. The American Legion Auxiliary is the sponsor of this annual event. The first session was held at Jamestown College in June 1947, when 116 girls attended. It was held in Jamestown in 1948 and 1949 as well. Since 1950, it has been held in Grand Forks at the University of North Dakota (UND) and throughout the years attendance has risen to 700 or more girls.
The Flickertail Girls State program seeks to simulate real life North Dakota politics at city, county, and state government levels. During Girls State, each governmental activity is preceded by a lecture given by the government staff, which consists of political science faculty at UND. The government staff establishes the government process after consultation with the American Legion Auxiliary. Counselors, who are political science students at UND, work closely with the girls to encourage and enhance their understanding of government functioning. After explaining how governmental units in North Dakota work, the goal is to allow the participants in Girls State to proceed to the appropriate level of governmental functioning and experience politics for themselves.
The Flickertail Girls State Records, 1956-1996, have been divided into six series:
Series 1: History
Series 2: Correspondence and Memorandum
Series 3: General Papers
Series 4: Manuals and Form Guides
Series 5: Miscellaneous
Series 6: Photographs