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South Dakota

The 40th state in the USA, admitted on November 2, 1889.

South Dakota can hardly be talked about in singularity. The Missouri River divides the state into two socioeconomically specific halves. The history with North Dakota is so intertwined that it is not even known which became a state first. President Harrison had the papers shuffled so as to obscure them and it was never recorded which was signed into statehood first. The first inhabitants of the territory were a group called the Mound Builders, a mysterious culture of Native Americans that died out in roughly the 16th century. Much of the culture of South Dakota reflects the American Indian, western, and European roots, shown by the multitude of annual events celebrating these histories. Such events include the Days of '76 in Deadwood, Czech Days in Tabor, and the St. Patrick's Day, Cinco De Mayo, and Oktoberfest celebrations in Sioux Falls. Custer State Park holds an annual Buffalo Roundup where volunteers on horseback gather the park's heard of 1500 bison. Not all of the history of this fine state is fun and festivity. Settlement of the area increased rapidly after gold was discovered by George A. Custer during a military expedition. The expedition took place despite the fact that the western half of the territory had been reserved for the Sioux tribe. When settlers rushed in and began mining, a lack of U.S. support for the Sioux caused a war. The Sioux were eventually defeated and forced to settle on reservations within North and South Dakota.

Some facts about South Dakota:

State Abbreviation: SD
Population: 814,180
Area: 77,116 square miles
State Nickname: The Mount Rushmore State
State Motto: Under God the people rule
State Capital: Pierre
Largest City: Sioux Falls
Official Web Site: http://www.sd.gov/

 

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