South Dakota is inspirational. South Dakota was admitted to the Union of the United States of America on November 2, 1889. South Dakota’s nickname is The Mount Rushmore State. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture of the heads of four United States Presidents carved in a mountain: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. This memorial is well-known and a major tourist attraction in the state.
South Dakota is in the Midwestern region of the United States. Pierre is the state capital. North Dakota is north of South Dakota. Minnesota borders South Dakota to the east. Iowa is to the southeast. Nebraska is to the south. The western border is made by the states of Wyoming and Montana. The Missouri River divides the state into “East River” and “West River” areas. The eastern half of the state has a higher population, fertile land, and more precipitation. The western half of the state has part of the Great Plains, the Black Hills, more ranching with its agriculture, and an economy more dependent on tourism and defense spending. The whole state has a temperate continental climate. The ecology is a temperate grassland biome.
There are lakes and rivers throughout the state. The Black Hills has unique features and is part of the “West River” area. “East River” has a lower topography. Also included in this area is Coteau des Prairies, the Dissected Till Plains, and the James River Valley. The Great Plains make-up most of the “West River”. Also in this area is the Badlands.
Paleoindian hunter-gatherers lived in the area before they disappeared around 5000 BC. Mound Builders lived in the area between 500 AD and 800 AD. Native American Arikara were the next people to settle in the area. In 1743 French explorers claimed the area as part of greater Louisiana. In 1762 it became part of Spanish Louisiana. Sioux Native Americans became the dominant tribe in the area. The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1803. Americans and Europeans settled in the area. The Yankton Sioux ceded most of eastern South Dakota to the United States in 1858. The United States established the Dakota Territory in 1861. Today, American Indians have seven large reservations and make up the third-highest population of Native Americans in any state.
The Service industry is the largest economic sector in South Dakota. Government spending is an important sector. Agriculture is important as well. Tourism provides a significant number of jobs and is important to the economy.
American Indian, rural, Western, and European influences have had impact on South Dakota’s culture. Writers and artists, like Laura Ingalls Wilder and Harvey Dunn, have shown what life could be like growing up and living in South Dakota. Be inspired! Have a bright day!