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South Dakota

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1700s
  • (1743) French explorers, the LaVerendrye brothers, claimed area for France
  • (1750) Sioux tribes moved to Dakota
  • (1794) Jean Baptiste Trudeau established trading company
1800s
  • (1803) U. S. acquired South Dakota from France in Louisiana Purchase
  • (1804) Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived in South Dakota
  • (1817) Joseph LaFramboise started trading post at Fort Pierre, the oldest continuous white settlement in South Dakota
  • (1823) Arikara Indians attacked fur trading party, 12 traders killed and 11 wounded
  • (1861) Dakota Territory was established; William Jayne appointed governor
  • (1863) First homestead filed in Dakota Territory
  • (1868) Treaty signed with the Sioux, continued the Great Sioux Reservation which included the Black Hills
  • (1874) Gold was discovered in Black Hills; gold rush began
  • (1876) Homestake Gold Mine opened; Sioux war occurred and Gen. Custer and 7th Cavalry defeated
  • (1888) Major blizzard strikes, 35 people die
  • (1889) South Dakota admitted into the Union as 40th state
  • (1890) Wounded Knee Massacre occurred - 7th Cavalry killed more than 250 Lakota men, women and children; Sitting Bull killed at Little Eagle; Indian wars ended
1900s
  • (1927) Gutzon Borglam began work on Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • (1930's) Severe drought and dust caused agricultural problems
  • (1939) Badlands designated National Monument by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • (1941) Mount Rushmore National Monument completed
  • (1944) Congress passed Pick-Sloan Plan for construction of four dams: Fort Randall, Oahe, Gavin's Point and Big Bend
  • (1948) Korcak Ziolkowski began work on Crazy Horse Mountain
  • (1949) Blizzard struck South Dakota; railroad from Pierre to Rapid City blocked for serveral weeks; air drops of hay required
  • (1952) Major flood caused damage all through the state, inundated most of Pierre
  • (1960) Ben Reifel elected as first American Indian to serve in Congress
  • (1962) Oahe Dam completed, started generating electricity
  • (1963) Cold War escalated and ICBM missiles were placed around state
  • (1972) Flooding in Rapid City area killed over 200
  • (1973) Riots by supporters of American Indian Movement occurred at Wounded Knee II and Custer Court House.
  • (1980) Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad shut several thousand miles of track which affected more than half of state's total railroad mileage; U. S. Congress approved payment to Sioux Indians of $122 million for compensation of lands seized in 1877
  • (1987) Lottery began; fire destroyed block in historic downtown area of Deadwood
  • (1988) Severe drought conditions caused crop failures and lack of feed for cattle; lightning caused large forest fire in Black Hills destroying 16,000 acres
  • (1990's) ICBM missiles removed
2000s
  • (2007) National Science Foundation chose Homestake, former gold mine near Lead, as site for multipurpose deep underground science and engineering laboratory
  • (2010) South Dakota named seventh best place to do business in U.S. by CNBC
  • (2011) South Dakota had third lowest unemployment rate in U.S.

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