The great state of South Dakota
became the 40th state in the Union on
November 2, 1889. Its capital is Pierre. The territory got its
name from Dakota, the word the Sioux Indians called themselves.
In 1743, the Brothers, exploring for France,
became the first white men to leave proof of their presence in South
Dakota. They buried a lead plate on a hill on the west bank of the
Missouri River near present day Fort Pierre to claim the area for France.
In 1760, the Sioux Indians, were pushed out of Minnesota
by the Chippewa, and on their way to the Missouri Valley, the Sioux drove
the Omaha Indians from the Big Sioux and James River valleys. This
Sioux arrival at the Missouri ignited a long war with the Arikara for
control of the Missouri Valley in central South Dakota. The Sioux
war with the Arikara came to an end in 1794, with the Sioux driving the
Arikara out of central South Dakota.
The United States made the Louisiana Purchase from
France in 1803. From 1804-1806, the Lewis& Clark Expedition
traveled from St. Louis to the Pacific. The expedition passed through
South Dakota twice. While camped near the mouth of the Bad River in 1804,
the expedition raises the United States flag on September 25, 1804. This
was the first time the U.S. flag was flown in South Dakota. In 1817,
Joseph La Framboise started a fur trading post at the site of present day
Fort Pierre. This marked the beginning of the oldest continuous white
settlement in South Dakota.
In 1823, the Arikara Indians attacked a fur trading
party led by a General Ashley. This fight was one of the first
fights between Indians and whites in South Dakota. News of the
attack on the Ashley party resulted in the launching of a punitive
expedition against the Arikaras. An expedition under the
command of Col. Henry Leavenworth, resulted in the capture of several
villages and the death of a number of Arikara. In 1825, Treaties
were signed with a number of Indian tribes in South Dakota.
The U.S. Army bought
Fort Pierre in 1855. The establishment of Fort Randall in 1856
causes the Army to abandon Fort Pierre in 1857. The Yankton Sioux
signed a treaty which ceded much of eastern South Dakota to the United
States in 1858. This opened the land for settlement. In 1861,
the Dakota Territory was formally established by President James
Buchanan. The new territory included the present states of South Dakota,
North Dakota, Montana, and most of Wyoming. William Jayne of Illinois was
appointed as the first territorial governor.
By 1876, many settlers continued to enter the area of
the Great Sioux Reservation. Many of the intruders went to the Black Hills
to look for gold. The failure of the Army to keep settlers out of the
Hills angered the Sioux and war began. The most notable event of the war
was the defeat of Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn in
By 1883, the Dakota Territory had been reduced to what
is now the States of South and North Dakota. Wyoming and Montana
were organized as separate territories. The northern part of the
territory had grown in population to the point that the center of
population was no longer in the Yankton area. This population shift
led to the major event of 1883, the removal of the territorial capitol
from Yankton to Bismarck. The move caused much bitterness among the
people of southern Dakota. The capitol removal resulted in the first
attempt to get southern Dakota admitted to the Union as a separate state.
Washington refused to recognize the new state.
After many attempts, the statehood movement finally bore
fruit when President Cleveland signed the Omnibus Bill creating the States
of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington. In 1890,
Pierre was chosen as the permanent capital of South Dakota.
Name of Emblem/Symbol
"Under God the people rule"
Mount Rushmore State
American Pasque Flower
"Hail, South Dakota"
Black Hills Spruce
State Mineral Stone
Complete the questions below.
1. South Dakota became the
40th state in the Union on November 2,
2. The state motto is
3. Fairburn Agate is the state .
4. The state bird is the
and the 7th Cavalry were defeated at the Little Big Horn.
6. The state tree is the
7. The state animal is the .
8. Rose Quartz is the state
9. The state song is "."
10. The state nickname is the
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