Also see Specific Destinations, Travel and Location Humor.
- Hills of South Dakota
- South Dakota Bound
- South Dakota Morning
- South Dakota Sunshine
- Take Me Back to South Dakota
- Welcome to South Dakota
- Wheat Fields of South Dakota
- I learned more about the economy from one South Dakota dust storm that I did in all my years of college. (Hubert H. Humphrey)
- In South Dakota, you can also roam with the buffalo of Custer State Park, follow the Lewis and Clark Trail or hike the lunar-like surfaces of Badlands National Park. (South Dakota Travel Guide)
- Summer gives us parades, street dances and tractor pulls; family reunions; softball, golf and rodeos. In short, summer gives us time to have some fun. South Dakotans work hard all year-round, so we need to take time with our neighbors and connect with family. (Governor Dennis Daugaard)
- We are fortunate for the opportunities in South Dakota to see and do almost anything without crossing a state border. We have lakes and rivers, mountains and rolling hills; hiking and biking trails, second to none. We have world-class fishing and the largest motorcycle rally in the world. (Governor Dennis Daugaard)
- Nicknames: The Mount Rushmore State; The Sunshine State; The Coyote State; Land of Plenty; The Blizzard state
- Motto: Under God the people rule
- Slogan: Great Faces, Great Places
- Colors: blue and gold
- Song: Hail, South Dakota
- Folk Dance: Square Dance
- Musical Instrument: Fiddle
- Animal: Coyote
- Bird: Ring-necked Pheasant
- Fish: Walleye
- Insect: Honeybee
- Tree: Black Hills Spruce
- Flower: Pasque Flower
- Grass: Western Wheat Grass
- Fossil: Triceratops
- Gemstone: Fairburn Agate
- Mineral: Rose Quartz
- Beverage: Milk
- Dessert: Kuchen
- Bread: Fry Bread
- Sport: Rodeo
Facts About South Dakota
- Capital: Pierre
- Residents: South Dakotans
- State Name Origin: from the Sioux word "Dakota" meaning "friends"
- Admitted to Statehood: 2 Nov 1889
- Order of Admission: 40th state
- Length: 380 miles
- Width: 210 miles
- Area: 77,116 square miles
- Size Rank: 17
- Number of Counties: 66
- Streams and Rivers: 9,937 miles
- Geographic Center: 8 miles NE of Pierre in Hughes Co.
- Geographic Center of all fifty states: 17 miles W of Castle Rock
- Mean Elevation: 2,200 feet
- Highest Point: Harney Peak, 7,242 feet (highest point in the US east of the Rockies)
- Lowest Point: Big Stone Lake, 962 feet
- Agricultural Products: food products, corn, soybeans, cattle, dairy products, hogs
- Commercial Products: tourism, machinery, electric and electronic equipment
- Average Annual Rainfall: 22 inches
- Average Winter High Temperature: 12 degrees
- Record Low Temperature: -58 degrees (17 Feb 1936 McIntosh)
- Average Summer High Temperature: 67 degrees
- Record High Temperature: 120 degrees (5 Jul 1936 Gannvalley)
- Official Language: English
- More information about South Dakota
from Hail, South Dakota
(words and music by Deecort Hammitt)
Hail! South Dakota, A great state of the land,
Health, wealth and beauty, That's what makes her grand;
She has her Black Hills, and mines with gold so rare,
And with her scenery, No other state can compare.
Hail! South Dakota, The state we love the best,
Land of our fathers, Builders of the west;
Home of the Badlands, and Rushmore's ageless shrine,
Black Hills and prairies, Farmland and Sunshine.
Items of Interest
- Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 6,200-foot Mount Rushmore in 1927. Creation of the Shrine to Democracy took fourteen years and cost $1 million. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are sculpted into the mountain and are considered the world's greatest mountain carving.
- Lemon is the site of the world's largest petrified wood park. Some of the fossils are fifty million years old.
- Belle Fourche was designated as the the geographical center of the U.S. in 1959.
- South Dakota is the home of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes, which make up the Sioux Nation.
- The Crazy Horse mountain carving now in progress will be the world's largest sculpture (563 feet high, 641 feet long, carved in the round). It is part of an educational and cultural memorial to the North American Indian.
- Badlands National Park contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 23 to 35 million years old.
- The Black Hills are the highest mountains east of the Rockies. They got their name because, seen from a distance, the pine-covered hills, rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie, appear black.
- In 1898, the first commercial timber sale on Federal forested land in the US was authorized in the area of Jim and Estes Creeks (near the town of Nemo).
- Sturgis is home of the annual Black Hills Classic Motorcycle Rally.
- The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs contains the largest concentration of Columbian and woolly mammoth bones discovered in their primary context in the world.
- The Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo details more than 250 rare automobiles including the infamous Tucker and Edsel.
- Black Hills National Cemetery "The Arlington of the West" is a final resting place of our nation's veterans.
- The Flaming Fountain on South Dakota State Capitol Lake is fed by an artesian well with natural gas content so high that it can be lit. The fountain glows perpetually as a memorial to all veterans.
- The largest underground gold mine is the Homestake Mine in Lead.
- The Prairie Rattlesnake is the only venomous snake native to South Dakota.
Some of these were born here, others just lived a while in the state.
- Sparky Anderson - baseball manager (Bridgewater)
- Gertrude Bonnin aks Zitkala-Sa (1867-1938) - Sioux writer and Native American activist.
- Tom Brokaw (1940- ) - newscaster, author, graduate of the University of SD (Webster)
- Tom Daschle (1847- ) - senator (Aberdeen)
- John James Exon - senator (Geddes)
- Myron Floren - musician (Roslyn)
- Joe Foss - governor, 1st Commissioner of the American Football League (Sioux Falls)
- Joseph Hansen - author (Aberdeen)
- Mary Hart (1951- ) - television personality (Madison)
- Crazy Horse ca1849-1877 - Oglala leader, led the Teton Sioux in defense of the Black Hills and died resisting arrest
- Oscar Howe - Sioux artist (Joe Creek)
- Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) - senator, U.S. vice president (Wallace)
- Cheryl Ladd (1951- ) - actress (Huron)
- David C. Jones - Air Force general (Aberdeen)
- Roy Braxton Justus - cartoonist (Avon)
- Ernest Orlando Lawrence (1901-1958) - Nobel Prize-winning physicist, built the first machine that smashed atoms (Canton)
- Jack McCall - tried, convicted and hanged two miles north of Yankton in 1877 for shooting Wild Bill Hickok, buried in an unmarked grave in the Yankton cemetery
- George Stanley McGovern - public official (Avon)
- Rain-in-the-Face - Hunkpapa Sioux leader
- Red Cloud - Oglala Sioux leader
- Dorothy Provine - actress (Deadwood)
- Russell Means - native American activist (Pine Ridge)
- Jess Thomas - opera singer(Hot Springs)
- Norm Van Brocklin (1926-1983) - football player
- Mamie Van Doren - actress (Rowena)
- Sitting Bull (1834?-1890) - Hunkpappa Sioux leader, defended the Black Hills, led the Teton Sioux to Canada and was killed during arrest. His grave is on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River near Mobridge. He was buried in ND but in 1953, under cover of darkness, a group of South Dakotans exhumed his bones (with his relatives' permission) and re-buried them in their rightful place.
The South Dakota State Flag
The flag has a sky blue background with the state seal in the center surrounded by gold sun rays. The words "South Dakota, The Mount Rushmore State" (state nickname) are in a circle around the sun. The state seal has symbols of commerce, industry, and natural resources. It has the state motto ("Under God the People Rule"), a farmer, cattle and cornfield to represent agriculture, a smelting furnace to represent mining, a steam ship on a river to represent shipping.
You know you are from South Dakota if...
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- During a storm you check the cattle before you check the kids.
- You are related to more than half the town.
- You can tell the difference between a horse and a cow from a distance.
- Your car breaks down outside of town and news of it reaches back to town before you do.
- You don't put too much effort into hairstyles due to wind and weather.
- Your quarterback is hurt and you're hoping it's the first thing on the 6 o'clock news.
- There's a tornado warning and the whole town is outside watching for it.
- The local gas station sells live bait.
- You don't buy all your vegetables at the grocery store.
- You go to the State Fair for your family vacation.
- You get up at 5:30 a.m. and go down to the coffee shop.
- You're on a first name basis with the county sheriff.
- Little smokies are something you serve on special occasions.
- You go to the river because it's almost like going to the ocean.
- You have the number of the Co-op on speed dial.
- All your radio preset buttons are country.
- Using the elevator involves a grain truck.
- Your mayor is also your garbage hauler, barber, and insurance salesman.
- You know you should listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.
- You are walking knee-deep in snow.
- You call the wrong number and talk to the person for an hour anyway.
- Your excuse for getting out of school is that the cows got out.
- You talk with a friend about some big event you are going to attend, and by the end of the conversation you've decided you're both too broke to go.
- You know cow pies aren't made of beef.
- Your early morning prayer covers rain, cattle and pigs.
- You wake up when it's dark and go to bed when it's still light.
- You consider a romantic evening driving through Hardees and renting a hunting instructional video.
- You want to buy manure.
- You listen to "Paul Harvey" every day at noon.
- You can tell it's a farmer working late in his field and not a UFO.
- Your nearest neighbor is in the next area code.
- You leave your snow tires on year-round.
- You know the difference between field corn and sweet corn when they are still on the stalk.
- You know the code names for everyone on the CB.
- You pick up all the free stuff at the State Fair.
- You'll skip your cousin's funeral for the first day of deer season.
- You can eat an ear of corn with no utensils in under twenty seconds.
- You don't clean up the dog's mess because it's just fertilizer.
- You wear your irrigation boots to church.
- You know enough to get your driving done early on Sundays before the Sunday drivers come out.
- It takes thirty seconds to reach your destination and it's clear across town.
- You can tell the smell of a skunk and the smell of a feed lot apart.
- The meaning of true love is that you'll ride in the tractor with him.
- You consider a building a mall if it's bigger than the local Wal-Mart
Songs about South Dakota
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- Black Hills of Dakota - Doris Day (1954)
- Deadwood, South Dakota - Nanci Griffith (1988)
- Epiphany, South Dakota - Joe Lima (2002)
- Floods of South Dakota - Modern Hicks (1999)
- Hills of South Dakota - Becky Schlegel (2008)
- Rapid City, South Dakota - Kinky Friedman (1974)
- South Dakota - Maelee Whitman (2004)
- South Dakota Beau - Rat Cat Hogan (2005)
- South Dakota Bound - Bob Ryan (2007)
- South Dakota Chaos - Madison Skylights (2009)
- South Dakota Hairdo - Joe West (2004)
- South Dakota Indian Summer - Kathy Bundock Moore (1997)
- South Dakota Lady (Tina's Song) - Buddy Red Bow (1980)
- South Dakota Morning - The Bee Gees (1973)
- South Dakota, You've Been Good to Me - Kyle Evans (1989)
- Southwest South Dakota - Ben Wilson (2009)
- Take Me Back to South Dakota - Bobby Joe Swilley (2007)
- Wheat Fields of South Dakota - Wishing Chair (2000)