Sunday, March 30, 2014

50 States: South Dakota

South Dakota

South Dakota (SD) became our nation's 40th state on November 2, 1889. The land that would become South Dakota was purchased from the French in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was split between the Minnesota Territory and the Nebraska Territory until 1858 when Minnesota became a state. Three years later, on March 2, 1861, it was organized into the Dakota Territory. Due to fear of the Sioux Indians who lived in the Territory, the population increased very slowly until the railroad came and gold was discovered in 1874. On November 2, 1889, the Dakota Territory was split into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota.

The capital is Pierre, and the largest city is Sioux Falls. The Sioux were prominent in this territory. The name, Dakota, is what the Sioux called themselves.

South Dakota is 77,184 square miles, making it the 17th largest state. There are more than 833,000 South Dakotans living in this state as of 2012. Some famous people born here include:

Sparky coach
Tom anchor
Sitting Bull...Teton Dakota chief/warrior
Crazy Horse...Oglala Sioux chief/warrior

There have also been several U.S. representatives and some actors born here as well.

South Dakota's nickname is the "Mount Rushmore State." The motto is "Under God the people rule." The old motto was "The Sunshine State," but this was changed in 1992 since Florida is known as The Sunshine State. The state symbols are:

Bird...Chinese ring-necked pheasant
Flower...American pasqueflower
Tree...Black Hills Spruce
Jewelry...Black Hills gold

At least 13 different fossils have been found in South Dakota, including Iguanodon, Pachycephalosaurus, Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus.

The South Dakota flag was adopted in 1963. It portrays a farmer plowing in his field, a river, forests, a mountain, and a steamboat. The motto is included in the seal, and the nickname, "The Mount Rushmore State," surrounds the lower half of the seal.

There are many interesting things to do in South Dakota. I have supplied links to some of the sites.

Badlands National Park
Black Hills National Forest
Reptile Gardens in Rapid City
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in Philip
Needles in the Black Hills
Great Plains Zoo
Adams Museum and House in Deadwood
Sitting Bull Crystal Cleaners
National Music Museum in Rapid City
Bramble Park Zoo
South Dakota Air and Space Museum
Black Hills Central Railroad
Fort Meade
Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon
Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo

Choose one or more of the following activities to increase your knowledge of South Dakota:
  1. Research Mount Rushmore—the sculptor, when it was sculpted, who is carved into the mountain, etc.
  2. Wild Bill Hickok was a historical figure who spent time in South Dakota. Research his life and his connection to the state.
  3. Research the discovery of gold in South Dakota.
  4. Research the Crazy Horse Memorial.
  5. How did the Black Hills get their name?
  6. What can you find out about the Prairie Rattlesnake?
  7. What immigrant groups settled in South Dakota?
The following items are available on If you purchase through my blog, I will receive a commission as I am an affiliate.

447314: Uniquely South Dakota Uniquely South Dakota
By Reuben Anderson / Heinemann Raintree

976337: Balloons Aloft: Flying South Dakota Skies Balloons Aloft: Flying South Dakota Skies
By Arley Kenneth Fadness / Xulon Press

743421: Outlaw Tales of South Dakota Outlaw Tales of South Dakota
By Globe Pequot

284240: Prairie Anna Prairie Anna
By Peggy House / Journeyforth

Anna's life on the prairie is like many other immigrants in the early 1900's—her mother dies, her newborn sister dies, and her father's South Dakota farm is not doing well. Her family makes all the decisions about how to survive, leaving her to catch up and adjust to all the changes in her life. When she's given a different option, what will she decide to do with the one choice she's been given?

743361: South Dakota Curiosities South Dakota Curiosities
By Globe Pequot

176568: The Amazing 50 States Maze Book The Amazing 50 States Maze Book
By Scott Sullivan / Price Stern Sloan

Take a road trip through the U.S.A.! This a-maze-ingly detailed maze book will delight puzzle fans of all ages as they travel through each twisting turn. With one-of-a-kind mazes depicting all 50 states, this is a perfect gift for any puzzle nut. Maddeningly addictive, whether in the shapes of New York, South Dakota, or California, these intricate mazes will have you hooked in no time!

40031X: The First Four Years, Little House on the Prairie Series #9  (Softcover) The First Four Years, Little House on the Prairie Series #9 (Softcover)
By Laura Ingalls Wilder / Harpercollins Publishing

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning her life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers. And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.

360030: Love Finds You in Deadwood, South Dakota Love Finds You in Deadwood, South Dakota
By Tracey Cross / Summerside Press

I thought I'd add one for mom.

Jane Albright is freshly widowed and pregnant—and has a toddler to care for. When she learns she might lose the family home and freighting business to moneylender Franklin Lloyd, she brandishes a bullwhip and continues her husband's work. But will Jane be able to protect her children's future from a money-grubbing cheat like Franklin? 320 pages, softcover from Summerside.

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