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South Dakota



South Dakota is a Midwestern state in the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota (Sioux) American Indian tribes. South Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889. North Dakota was admitted on the same day. It is probably best known as the location of Mount Rushmore.

Brief History of South Dakota

Human beings have lived in what is today South Dakota for at least several thousand years. French and other European explorers in the 1700s encountered a variety of groups including the Omaha and Arikara (Ree), but by the early 1800s the Sioux (Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota) were dominant. In 1743, the LaVerendrye brothers buried a plate near the modern capital Pierre (pronounced as "peer") claiming the region for France as part of greater Louisiana. In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon, though the native peoples inhabiting most of this area were not aware of the transaction.

President Thomas Jefferson organized a group called the Corps of Discovery, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (commonly referred to as "Lewis and Clark"), to explore the newly-acquired region. In 1817, an American fur trading post was set up at present-day Fort Pierre, beginning continuous American settlement of the area. Through much of the 19th century, exploratory expeditions such as those of Lewis and Clark and Joseph Nicollet coincided with an increasing presence of the U.S. Army. In 1855, the U.S. Army bought Fort Pierre but abandoned it the following year in favor of Fort Randall to the south. Settlement by Americans and Europeans was, by this time, increasing rapidly, and in 1858, the Yankton, Dakota, and Sioux resigned to signing the 1858 Treaty, ceding most of present-day eastern South Dakota to the United States. Of this, Yankton leader Strike-the-Ree said "The white men are coming like maggots. It is useless to resist them.... Many of our brave warriors would be killed, our women and children left in sorrow, and still we would not stop them."

Land speculators founded two of eastern South Dakota′s largest present-day cities: Sioux Falls in 1856 and Yankton in 1859. In 1861, Dakota Territory was recognized by the United States government (this initially included North Dakota, South Dakota, and parts of Montana and Wyoming). Settlers from Scandinavia, Germany, Ireland, and Russia, as well as elsewhere in Europe and from the eastern U.S. states, increased from a trickle to a flood, especially after the completion of an eastern railway link to the territorial capital of Yankton in 1872, and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874 during a military expedition led by George A. Custer. This expedition took place despite the fact that all of Dakota Territory west of the Missouri River (along with much of Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming) had been granted to the Sioux by the Treaty of 1868 as part of the Great Sioux Nation. The Sioux declined to grant mining rights or land in the Black Hills, and war broke out after the U.S. failed to stop white miners and settlers from entering the region.

Native Americans were unable to compete with the greater numbers and superior weaponry available to U.S. forces. They were also aided by the sharp decline in numbers of the buffalo, which was a major food source of the Sioux. Between 1878 and 1886, the Euro-American settler population of eastern Dakota Territory tripled. The last major incident in this struggle occurred on December 29, 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek in present-day western South Dakota, when U.S. soldiers massacred as many as 300 Sioux, mostly women and children.

Just over a year earlier, on November 2, 1889, Dakota Territory was incorporated into the United States as the modern states of North Dakota and South Dakota.

State symbols

State bird: Ring-necked Pheasant
State flower: Pasque flower
State tree: Black Hills Spruce
State nicknames: Mount Rushmore State (official), Coyote state & Sunshine state (same nickname as Florida)
State slogan: "Great Faces. Great Places."
State mineral: Rose quartz
State insect: Honey bee - Apis Mellifera L.
State animal: Coyote
State soil: Houdek
State fish: Walleye
State gemstone: Fairburn agate
State dessert: Kuchen
State drink: Milk
State bread: Native American fry bread
State grass: Western Wheatgrass
State Sport: rodeo

SOUTH DAKOTA COUNTIES


Union
Brookings
Minnehaha
Clay
Mccook
Lincoln
Turner
Lake
Moody
Hutchinson
Yankton
Kingsbury
Bon Homme
Codington
Deuel
Grant
Clark
Day
Hamlin
Roberts
Marshall
Davison
Hanson
Jerauld
Douglas
Sanborn
Gregory
Miner
Beadle
Brule
Charles Mix
Buffalo
Hyde
Hand
Lyman
Aurora
Brown
Walworth
Spink
Edmunds
Faulk
Mcpherson
Potter
Hughes
Sully
Jackson
Tripp
Jones
Stanley
Bennett
Haakon
Todd
Mellette
Perkins
Corson
Ziebach
Dewey
Meade
Campbell
Harding
Pennington
Shannon
Butte
Custer
Lawrence
Fall River

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