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All About South Dakota: Land of Bones, Parks and Chislic

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ask any South Dakotan to talk about their great state and they’ll likely mention something you’ve never heard of nor have ever seen on a restaurant menu – Chislic. As one of the state’s most popular foods, it is deep-fried cubed meats that include lamb, wild game, pork and beef.

South Dakotans have plenty to be proud of about their state. They may also mention that the largest collection of Columbian mammoth and Woolly mammoth bones ever discovered are in South Dakota. The bones have never been touched or moved. It’s the only display of fossils in the entire world that has been left exactly as was found.

Can you find South Dakota on a US map? Here’s a big hint: it is bordered by six states! You’ll find North Dakota to the north, Minnesota and Iowa to the east, Nebraska to the south, and Wyoming and Montana to the west.

One of the largest American Indian populations (about 60,000 people and nine tribes) lives in the state. It’s the home of the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota tribes, which form the Sioux Nation.

All About South Dakota-Adventures of MoWhat really happened…

  • When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, South Dakota was underneath a shallow sea.
  • About 10,000 years ago, humans first occupied the land. Its earliest settlers hunted large animals like bison.
  • By the 1700s, the Native American Sioux dominated the area.
  • In 1743, the LaVérendrye brothers claimed the area a part of France’s Louisiana Territory. 
  • South Dakota’s land was bought by the US from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The following year, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived in the state and formed the first settlement at Fort Pierre. 
  • In 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills. Thousands of miners came to search for their fortune, but mining for gold violated a treaty with the Sioux Indians, which launched the Black Hills War of 1876.
  • South Dakota became the 40th state in 1889. Before then, the area known today as North Dakota and South Dakota was one territory.
  • In 1927, the Mount Rushmore project began, which is now the most popular tourist attraction in the state. Gutzon Borglum was the main sculptor who carved the faces of four US presidents into a mountain in the Black Hills National Forest. It took 14 years and one million dollars to finish. Can you name the four presidents? 

Stuff you should know…

  • South Dakota has more miles of shoreline than the state of Florida!
  • Justin Davis, 24, was the youngest person to ever be elected to the South Dakota Legislature in 2002.
  • The state supports 63 state parks and produces more sunflowers than any other state.
  • Less than one million people live in the state – about 880,000. That’s an average of 10 people per square mile.

Crazy, funny, or just plain weird…

  • Clark, South Dakota hosts the famous mashed potato wrestling contest.
  • The World’s Only Corn Palace is in Mitchell, South Dakota. The outside of the building is covered with pictures and designs made of red, brown, black, blue, white, calico, orange, yellow, and green corn–actually 3,500 bushels of corn!
  • In 1998, there was a dust storm so severe that schools were closed across the state.

Tell me more…

  • Located in the Black Hills near Mt. Rushmore, you can find the Crazy Horse Memorial. Crazy Horse was a Sioux Indian chief. When finished, this will be the largest sculpture in the world carved into a mountain at 563 feet high and 641 feet long.
  • One more interesting tidbit about Crazy Horse? He named his daughter “They are afraid of her”. Would you like that as your name?
  • The Badlands National Park is sometimes called “the playground” of dinosaurs because it’s among the best places on Earth to see animal fossils. The park’s name comes from a Native American word that means “land bad”. The area is dry and has severe, low and high temperatures. The land is jagged, like a landscape from a different planet.
  • South Dakota is home to more than 175 species of butterflies and 400 species of birds.

Do you have a story you’d like to share about visiting or living in South Dakota? Email us and we’ll publish it along with your first name, age and state where you live on Mo’s blog or social media pages!

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