Happy South Dakota Day!

To the recent Happy South Dakota Day. . .

Happy National South Dakota Day ! !

Which Western State was SD:
The Beginning Years: It is believed that Hunter-gatherer and agriculture societies have existed in South Dakota since at least 2,000 B.C., with early settlers being hunters of bison and other large animals, including Mandan and the Arikara, By 1682, the region was originally settled by Robert de LaSalle claimed much of South Dakota for France despite the Sioux having domination of the area. The area was a part of the Louisiana Purchase and in the year 1803 became part of America as part of the sensationally large Louisiana territory until 1812. The whole state consists of an original slat from the monstrous Missouri territory. The general area was then converted to the Minnesota and Nebraska territories, until, along with North Dakota, it was organized into the Dakota Territory by the year 1861. The state was very sparsely populated until the arrival of the railroads in the late 1800s, and finally became a state in 1889. A great settlement boom occurred within South Dakota from 1879 to 1886, bringing in 100,000 new settlers, mostly farmers.

More History: The state of South Dakota experienced some changes throughout the 20th century. Farms gradually moved away from the monoculture focused on farming of wheat in the early part of the 1900’s and diversified with other crops like soybeans, field corn, wheat, sunflowers, alfalfa, vegetables and other crops. From 1860 to 1920, thousands of homesteaders poured into Dakota. Farms grew in size as they became more mechanized and by the 1920’s. Gutzon Borglum began sculpting Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the year 1927, planning to carve George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt from head to waist. But when he passed in 1941 before its completion, and the looming American involvement in World War II, the memorial was declared thereby completed. South Dakota was passed for New York in 1945 for headquarters of NATO due to its East Coast location and proximity to Europe. In 1980, more than a century after the Treaty of Fort Laramie was broken for illegal seizure of the Sioux land, the Supreme Court ruled that the government had taken the land illegally and awarded a $120.5 million sum to the Lakota Sioux, who refused to accept the sum settlement demanding the territory be returned. Today, agriculture generates more than 30% of South Dakota’s economic activity, with other industries including bioscience, business and professional services, outdoor recreation, and oil and gas production. South Dakota also has a growing tourism industry, with a yearly 14M+ visitors traveling to and within the state, including Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and Wind Cave being among the state’s national parks. Some famous South Dakotans include actors January Jones and Cheryl Ladd, activist and actor Russell Means, journalist Tom Brokaw and Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

Climate of South Dakota: South Dakota’s climate consists of continental type, and is characterized by one of the largest variances in mean temperature, both on a seasonal and also daily basis. So much so, The National Weather Service explained the rapid changes: “The wild temperature fluctuations were likely due to cold air and warm air sloshing back and forth along the plains at the base of the Black Hills.” The Spearfish record wins the award for fastest recorded temperature swing in the world, in that on Jan. 22, 1943, it was -4°F around 7:30 a.m, and just two minutes later, it was 45°F, and later in the same day, it went from 54°F to -4°F again in 27 more minutes. Precipitation ranges from low to moderate, and air flow through the region creates windy conditions. South Dakota is affected by regular changes in atmospheric air masses. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 10°F to 90°F and is rarely below -4°F or above 101°F.

The Great Location of South Dakota: South Dakota is an expansive, sparsely populated far western midwestern U.S. state where rolling prairies give way to the dramatic Black Hills National Forest. Black Hills is the home to 2 historical monuments that are carved right into towering granite peaks: Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial (a tribute to the storied Native American tribal leader).

South Dakota’s Statehood Facts:

  • Date: 11/2/1889
  • Capital: Pierre
  • Population: 895,376 (2021)
  • Size: 77,116 square miles
  • Nickname: The Mount Rushmore State
  • State Motto: Under God the people rule
  • Tree: White Spruce
  • Flower: American Pasque flower
  • Bird: Ring-necked Pheasant

The History:

South Dakota Officially Adopted as a U.S. State, State Song, Admission Date & South Dakota Flag
State Name Info
State Song
Capital Flag Image
40th State. Dakota Territory (South Dakota)
“South Dakota Morning” by the Bee Gees
11/2/1889 Pierre STATE FLAG_SD.png
See: Officially Adopted as a U.S. States, State Songs, Admission Dates & Flags at: National States And Capitals Day! – 2022 US State's Flags '22.jpg

Some Great South Dakota Sites:  Here is a list of some some great places to visit while in South Dakota:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone
  • Crazy Horse Memorial, Crazy Horse
  • Mitchell Corn Palace, Mitchell
  • Black Hills National Forest, Custer
  • Badlands National Park, Interior
  • Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Hot Springs
  • Wind Cave National Park, Hot Springs
  • National Music Museum, Vermillion
  • Sioux Falls Park, Sioux Falls
  • Spearfish Canyon, Spearfish
  • Deadwood, Deadwood
  • South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Ellsworth AFB
  • Sylvan Lake, Custer
  • Jewel Cave National Monument, Custer
  • Good Earth State Park, Sioux Falls
  • Ingalls Homestead, De Smet
  • Lewis & Clark Recreation Area, Yankton
  • Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Brookings
  • Old Courthouse Museum, Sioux Falls
  • Bear Butte State Park, Sturgis
  • EVENT: 83rd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Drag Races, in Sturgis – 8/4/23 – 8/9/23

Memorable South Dakota Events:  Here is a list of some events that happened in South Dakota:

  • 1743 – French explorers, the LaVerendrye brothers, claimed area for France
  • 1750 – Sioux tribes moved to Dakota
  • 1794 – Jean Baptiste Trudeau established a fur trading company
  • 1803 – The United States acquired the region from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase
  • 1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived in South Dakota
  • 1861 – U.S. Congress created Dakota Territory
  • 1863 – The first homestead filed in the Dakota Territory
  • 1868 – A treaty was signed with the Sioux, continuing the Great Sioux Reservation including the Black Hills
  • 1874 – Custer discovered gold in the Black Hills
  • 1876 – Custer’s Last Stand/Homestake Gold Mine opened
  • 1877 – U. S. Grant. Dawes Act passed, closing land settlement
  • 1878-1887 – The building of railroads
  • 1879 – Land re-opened for settlement
  • 1888 – Major blizzard strikes, 35 people die
  • 1889 – South Dakota was separated from North Dakota, statehood
  • 1900 – “Free Homes Bill” becomes law
  • 1904 – Pierre becomes the capital of South Dakota.
  • 1927 – Gutzon Borglam began work on Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • 1930’s – Severe drought and dust (The Dust Bowl) caused agriculture problems
  • 1930’s – The Great Depression closed many factories and mills. Many small farms were abandoned, and many families moved to cities.
  • 1939 – Badlands designated National Monument by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1941 – Mount Rushmore National Monument completed
  • 1948 – Korcak Ziolkowski began work on Crazy Horse Mountain
  • 1949 – Blizzard struck & railroad from Pierre to Rapid City was blocked for several weeks, requiring air drops of hay
  • 1952 – Major flood, including Pierre
  • 1950’s–1960’s – The building of interstate highways
  • 1962 – Oahe Dam completed, started generating electricity
  • 1972 – Flooding in Rapid City area killed over 200 people
  • 1987 – Lottery stared; Fire destroyed block in historic downtown area of Deadwood
  • 1988: Severe drought conditions caused crop failure and lack of feed for cattle; lightning caused large forest fire in Black Hills destroying 16,000 acres
  • 1990’s – Cold War ends: ICBM missiles removed in South Dakota

South Dakota is a “Dust Bowl” State:
The Dust Bowl effected South Dakota and other U.S. States. A great book with the subject of the Dust Bowl is listed here:


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National South Dakota Day

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