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Interesting Facts About South Dakota

Interesting Facts About South Dakota

Other than its famous treasure the Mount Rushmore, there are more “gems” in South Dakota that are also worth knowing. Find more of these interesting facts about the 40th state in the USA through cruising through this gallery!

Lutheran Church

Located in South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls, according to some records the church was established in 1919 and eventually incorporated in South Dakota. The congregation has grown into 2000 members.

Mickelson Trail Tunnel

The George S. Mickelson Trail is a trail rail in South Dakota’s Black Hills region. It is the state’s premiere rails-to-trail project which stretches 108.8 miles (175.1 kilometers) from Edgemont to Deadwood. It also had additional branch trails with a combined measurement of about nine miles.

Mount Rushmore

One of the famous American landmarks is located near Keystone, South Dakota. Needless to say, it is a popular tourist attraction, which has made tourism as the state’s second-largest industry; in recent years it has been pulling one to two million visitors, and these numbers keep on growing.

The huge faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln (each of them measures 60 feet) are sculpted into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. Created by Danish-American sculpture Gutzon Borglum and completed by his son Lincoln Borglum, these huge and amazing works of art were first sculpted in 1927 when the senior Borglum started drilling into the 6,000-foot Mount Rushmore. The project was finished in 1941. Luckily, there no fatalities were recorded during the making of this colossal masterpiece.

Pasque Flower

The pasque flower (Pulsatilla hirsutissima) was adopted as South Dakota’s official state flower in 1903.s

Ringneck Pheasant

The ringneck pheasant or ring-necked pheasant (Phacianus colchicus) has been South Dakota’s official state bird since 1943.

Rodeo

The rodeo is a form of competitive sport that features the cowboys’ skill in lassoing calves, riding broncos, wrestling steers, and many others. It was named as South Dakota’s official state sport in 2004.

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota, and also has the largest and fastest-growing metropolitan area in the state. Once inhabited by the Lakota Native Americans and then explored by the French, Sioux Falls was incorporated in 1876 and later greatly benefited by the South Dakota economic boom during the 1880s. Its growth continued at the beginning of the 20th century when industries such as meat-packing and military and radio communications brought the city to a slow but steady pace towards growth. During the 1970s population in the city began to grow rapidly.

As of 2014, Sioux Falls’ population stands at 168,586. Many businesses and large corporations (such as Wells Fargo and Citibank) thrive in this city partly due to the absence of a state corporate income tax.

South Dakota State University

The South Daktoa State University is a public research university founded in 1881. It is South Dakota’s largest and second oldest university. It offers curricula that range from agriculture to engineering to liberal arts to nursing.

State Capitol

The capitol or seat of government of South Dakota is located in the state capital of Pierre. The structure has a combination of American Colonial and Renaissance architecture and was designed by the architetural firms C.E. Bell and M.S. Detwiler. It was built from 1905 to 1910.

Wind Cave National Park

The Wind Cave National Park is located near Hot Springs, South Dakota. It is notable for its massive deposits of boxwork, a type of calcite formation.

Black Hills Spruce

The Black Hills white spruce (Picea glauca) was named as the official state tree of South Dakota in 1947. The densata variety proliferates South Dakota especially on the Black Hills region.

Corn PalaceThe Corn Palace, also known as The World’s Only Corn Palace, is a multi-purpose facility located in the city of Mitchell, South Dakota. Built in 1927 (with subsequent additions of domes and minarets in 1937), the building’s design and murals are made of real corn and other grains. It was designed by the architectural firm Rapp & Rapp of Chicago.

Coyote

The coyote (Canis latrans) was designated as the official state animal of South Dakota in 1949.

Ellsworth Air Force

As government spending contributes a large chunk to South Dakota’s economy, it provides over 10% of the gross state product. The Ellsworth Air Force Base is South Dakota’s second biggest single-employer there, employing over 8,000 workers.

Flag of South Dakota

The flag of South Dakota has gone some changes since it was first flown in 1903, from the color of the field to the seal design. It once had a navy blue and then white field, and the seal was much different from its present version.

The present version of the flag has a field of sky blue with state seal in the center. Golden triangles surround the seal which represent the sun’s rays, which are then followed by the words, in capital letters, “SOUTH DAKOTA” on the top and “THE MOUNT RUSHMORE STATE” on the bottom. The details inside the seal itself represent commerce, industry, and natural resources of the state.

Harney Peak

The Harney Peak is the highest natural point in South Dakota. Situated in the Black Hills mountain range, the Harney Peak is 7,242 feet high.

Homestake gold mine

The Homestake Gold Mine (or simply Homestake Mine) is a deep underground gold mine in the city of Lead, South Dakota. During its operating years miners procured about 40 million troy ounces of gold. It was the deepest and largest operating gold mine in North America until it closed in 2002.

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