South Dakota History

South Dakota History

South Dakota is a US state. The state capital is Pierre, while the largest city is called Sioux Falls.

According to ebizdir, South Dakota borders North Dakota to the north, Nebraska to the south, Iowa and Minnesota to the east, and Wyoming and Montana to the west.

South Dakota has four major regions: Drift Prairie, Dissected Till Plains, Great Plains and the Black Hills.

The Native Americans have used what is today Badlands National Park for 11,000 years as hunting grounds.


19th Century – Early in the century, Sioux, ( Dakota, Lakota and Nakota ) had become the dominant tribes.

1803 – United States buys Louisiana territory from Napoleon.

1817 – A fur trading post is established in present-day Fort Pierre, the beginning of American settlements in the area.

1856-59 – Speculators founded two of eastern South Dakota’s largest current cities, Sioux Falls in 1856 and Yankton in 1859.

1861 – The Dakota Territory is recognized by the United States government, and this area originally included North Dakota, South Dakota, and parts of Montana and Wyoming.

1874 – A military expedition led by George Armstrong Custer makes a gold find in the Black Hills, an area shrouded in mystery because Native Americans consider the area a shrine. The Sioux tribe refused to grant mining rights or land in the Black Hills, and war broke out after the United States failed to prevent miners and settlers from invading the region. The Sioux were eventually defeated and resettled in reservations in South Dakota and North Dakota.

1876 – The town of Deadwood is founded in the Black Hills in connection with the gold discovery. Names like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane made the city famous.

1885 – A prominent lawyer, Charles E. Rushmore, has a mountain named after him during an expedition in the Black Hills area. The mountain was originally known as the Six Grandfathers among the Lakota people ( Sioux ), and was approved to make a huge granite sculpture honoring 4 American presidents, to promote tourism in the region, and the carving began in 1927 and ended in 1941. The creator of the work was Gutzon Borglum, who is of Danish origin, and represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States with 18 meter high sculptures of the heads of former American presidents: George Washington(1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The area is called the United States Presidential Memorial and is called the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

1889 – South Dakota is admitted as the 40th state of the United States on November 2. The increasing population of the territory meant that it was divided into two states, North Dakota and South Dakota under Grover Cleveland.

1890 – On December 29, the Wounded Knee Massacre takes place in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is cited as the last armed conflict between the United States and the Sioux tribe. It resulted in 300 killed among the Sioux and 25 killed among soldiers from the United States ; The former leader of the Lakota people, Sitting Bull, who was the first Native American to win the Battle of Little Bighorn, fled to Canada and returned again 5 years later due to starvation and surrendered – subsequently he traveled around with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, where he was shown to the masses. On December 15, 1890, he lived a peaceful life in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where at that time a new religious movement arose directly among his people that was directly inspired by Sitting Bull. But he did not want to be part of the movement, but the whites still perceived him as responsible. They put the Native American police in charge of arresting him, but during the arrest, Sitting Bull defended himself and he was shot down and killed by one of the policemen.

1939 – The Badlands is declared a national park by President Roosevelt.

1948 – Crazy Horse Memorial begins on June 3, with artist Korczak Ziolkowski blasting the first cliffs of a mountain in the Black Hills. Among the specially invited guests were five survivors of the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, in which Crazy Horse won a remarkable victory over the U.S. Army. Korczak Ziolkowsi died in 1982, after which his wife and ten children continued volunteering. On the 50th anniversary of June 3, 1998, the face of the sculpture was inaugurated – and from that time the number of visitors increased sharply. For the past 15 years, ” Native American Day ” has been celebrated on October 11th.

1949 – A severe snowstorm causes the railway track between Pierre and Rapid City to be blocked for several weeks. Large quantities of straw bales were dropped from the air in order to reach the snow. See pictures here.

1952 – Major flooding from the Missouri River damages the state and drowns most of Pierre. Watch amateur footage from the city here, here and here. Read here. See photos here.

1953-62 – The Cold War escalates and ICBM missiles are deployed around the state. Read more here and here. See a list of the missiles here.

1972 – Flood in the Rapid City area on June 9-10, killing 238 and wounding 3057.

1973 – On February 27, a conflict develops between supporters of the American Indian Movement and tribal chairman Richard Wilson, as well as the federal government for failing to comply with the treaty agreements at Wounded Knee and Custer Court House on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

1980 – Congress approves a $ 122 million compensation claim from the Siox Indians to compensate for the land taken from them in 1877.

1988 – Severe drought causes crop problems and lack of food for cattle; Lightning struck a forest fire that spread over 16,000 acres of land in the Black Hills. Read more here.

1990s – ICBM missiles were phased out.

2004-06 – The award-winning and star-studded television series ” Deadwood ” takes place in the 1870s after Custer’s defeat. Famous people from that time such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are included in the series, who of course also have invented people. There were plans to end the series with 2 feature films, but so far no further action has been taken, and several of the cast concluded that there would probably be none either.

2007 – The National Science Foundation chooses the Homestake mine as the site of their experiment with neutrinos with a chlorine detector that converts chlorine atoms into radioactive argon, which is collected and measured.

South Dakota History