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20 Fun & Interesting Facts about South Dakota

Updated on March 31, 2012

1. One of the greatest testaments to U.S president s is located in South Dakota. Mount Rushmore was created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum when he began drilling in to the 6500 foot cliff in 1927. The creation of this monument took almost 14 years to complete.

2. The faces of 4 of the world’s most iconic presidents have been sculpted on the mountain of Mount Rushmore. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

3. The largest petrified park in the world is located in Lemmon’s South Dakota

4. One of the greatest forts to be built in the western regions was located in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. It became the greatest fort in the country to buy, sell and trade fur anywhere in the western provinces.

5. Jack Mcall was famous for shooting wild bill Hickok. He is said to be buried in a unmarked grave somewhere in Yankton Cemetery.

6. The site of South Dakota’s richest gold rush was located in Deadwood. Many of the western frontiers most undesirable characters passed through this town at one time or another.

7. A world famous news anchor tom Brokaw of the NBC nightly news graduated from the university of South Dakota in Yankton

8. Bell Fourche is the actually geographical center f the United States. It was officially named the center in 1959 after an extensive survey done by the US department of agriculture. A graphite monument stakes the location of the exact spot.

9. The tallest water tower was built in the city of Bowdle. It is the largest water tower in South Dakota towering almost 250 feet in the air and able to hold over 45 million gallons of water.

10. Mashed potatoes are one of the main crops in South Dakota. In the city of Clark, it is customary every year for them to have a world wrestling mashed potato contest.

11. South Dakota was part of the purchase made by Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase. It effectively doubled the United States overnight.

12. South Dakota was home to a multitude of different Indian tribes. Some of the most famous were the Dakota Indians, Lakota, and Nakota tribes. They all made up the Sioux nation.

13. Bison is one of the few animals that the Indians hunted form meat and clothing. Today the largest herd left of free roaming bison is located in Custer Park South Dakota

14. South Dakota has one of the longest caves in the world. Called jewel cave it has some of the most natural forming calcite in the country. The cave is over 120 miles long and with its many passages has never been fully explored.

15. Boxwork is another type of cave calcite formation that can only been seen in South Dakota. Wind Cave is one of the most popular places to look at the different and widely beautiful structures that Mother Nature provides.

16. The badlands national Park consists of over 250,000 acres of ended buttes, pinnacles and spires.

17. The longest sculpture in the world is still in progress but once completed the sculpture will be 641 feet long and over 563 feet high. It is a carving of the native American influence on the values and culture of South Dakota

18. The first official sale of timber initiated by the federal government was completed in South Dakota

19. Sturgis is home to the largest collection of motor cycles once a year at the Black hills Motor cycle rally.

20. The Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo details more than 250 rare automobiles including the infamous Tucker and Edsel.

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