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Interesting Facts and Trivia about South Dakota

Updated on September 3, 2012

The capital of South Dakota is Pierre. The two names "South Dakota" and "Pierre" does not have any letters in common. Of the 50 United States, South Dakota is only state that have this property.

Bet you didn't know that, did you? Well, that is why they call it trivia. You can check for yourself with this list of state capitals.

You are probably thinking ... "Boy, there must not be anything too interesting about South Dakota if that is the first thing I can come up with."

Wrong. In addition, South Dakota is the birthplace of Tom Brokaw. The well-known television journalist was born in Webster, South Dakota and got his journalism degree from University of South Dakota. But if you don't know Tom Brokaw or are not interested in watching him in the news, then maybe that is not so interesting.

But seriously...

While the geographical center of the contiguous United States is at a point near Lebanon, Kansas, the geographical center of the entire United States (which include Hawaii and Alaska) is Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

And on July 23, 2010, the largest hail stone fell in Vivian, South Dakota on -- measuring 8 inches in diameter, which is about the size of a soccer ball.

Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore | Source

Mount Rushmore

South Dakota is famous for its Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore is a mountain sculpture carved onto the side of the mountain near Keystone, South Dakota. The sculpture shows the faces of four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln (shown from left to right).

It sculpture is 60-foot high and was sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum.

Needless to say, this mountain monument attracts many tourists.

South Dakota's Symbols

South Dakota's state nickname is ... you guessed it ... "Mount Rushmore State" and its state slogan is "Great Faces. Great Places."

And its state motto is "Under God, the people rule". Its state mineral is the Rose quartz.

Its state bird is the ring-necked pheasant. Its state animal is the coyote. Its state insect is the honey bee. And its state fish is the Walleye.

Mashed potato wrestling

In Clark, South Dakota, the potato is a big deal. They have annual potato days and mashed potato wrestling. You can find some videos of this on YouTube on your own. I'm not going to include them here.

By the way, the Dakota Style potato chips are produced on a farm near Clark.

Black Hills, Begging Burros, Jewel Cave, and Corn Palace

The Black Hills is sacred to the sacred to the Sioux native American tribe. There was a gold rush in the Black Hills during the late 19th century. Within the Black Hills is Custer State Park which is the home for 1500 free roaming bisons. If you do go to Custer State Park, watch out for "Begging Burros" which are donkeys that come up to passing cars begging for food.

Also in the Black Hills is Jewel Cave with 160 miles of mapped passageways. Don't get lost, it is the world's 2nd longest cave.

There is a Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota -- advertised as the World's only corn palace.


This article was written in September 2012 and facts may become outdated. Information was gathered from the Internet and may not necessarily be reliable.


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    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      6 years ago

      One of the few places I have not visited but now I do. You paint (with words) a very interesting picture. Thank you.


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