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South Dakota

South Dakota History Timeline

  • (1743) French explorers, the LaVerendrye brothers, claimed area for France
  • (1750) Sioux tribes moved to Dakota
  • (1794) Jean Baptiste Trudeau established trading company
  • (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
  • (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
  • (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.

South Dakota Photographs

Sioux IndiansArikara IndiansLouisiana PurchaseBlack HillsHomestakeDeadwoodGutzom BorglumElk CanyonMount Rushmore

South Dakota Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Plankinton Aurora 605
Huron Beadle 605
Martin Bennett 605
Springfield Bon Homme 605
Brookings Brookings 605
Aberdeen Brown 605
Chamberlain Brule 605
Fort Thompson Buffalo 605
Belle Fourche Butte 605
Herreid Campbell 605
Wagner Charles Mix 605
Clark Clark 605
Vermillion Clay 605
Watertown Codington 605
McLaughlin Corson 605
Custer Custer 605
Mitchell Davison 605
Webster Day 605
Clear Lake Deuel 605
Eagle Butte Dewey 605
Corsica Douglas 605
Ipswich Edmunds 605
Hot Springs Fall River 605
Faulkton Faulk 605
Milbank Grant 605
Gregory Gregory 605
Philip Haakon 605
Castlewood Hamlin 605
Miller Hand 605
Alexandria Hanson 605
Buffalo Harding 605
Pierre Hughes 605
Parkston Hutchinson 605
Highmore Hyde 605
Wanblee Jackson 605
Wessington Springs Jerauld 605
Murdo Jones 605
Arlington Kingsbury 605
Madison Lake 605
Spearfish Lawrence 605
Sioux Falls Lincoln 605
Lower Brule Lyman 605
Britton Marshall 605
Salem McCook 605
Eureka McPherson 605
Sturgis Meade 605
White River Mellette 605
Howard Miner 605
Sioux Falls Minnehaha 605
Flandreau Moody 605
Rapid City Pennington 605
Lemmon Perkins 605
Gettysburg Potter 605
Sisseton Roberts 605
Woonsocket Sanborn 605
Pine Ridge Shannon 605
Redfield Spink 605
Fort Pierre Stanley 605
Onida Sully 605
Mission Todd 605
Winner Tripp 605
Parker Turner 605
North Sioux City Union 605
Mobridge Walworth 605
Yankton Yankton 605
Dupree Ziebach 605

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.