4-41 The State of South Dakota

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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 June.

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.

Emblem/Symbol Name of Emblem/Symbol Adopted
Motto "Under God the people rule"  
Nickname Mount Rushmore State  
State Seal 1885
State Bird Ring-necked Pheasant 1943
State Flower American Pasque Flower 1903
State Song "Hail, South Dakota" 1943
State Tree Black Hills Spruce 1947
State Flag 1963
State Insect Honeybee 1978
State Fish Walleye 1982
State Animal Coyote 1949
State Mineral Stone Rose Quartz 1966
State Gemstone Fairburn Agate 1966
State Soil Houdek Soil 1990

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 .

5.  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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