South Dakota Atlas
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South Dakota facts and history plus travel and tourism information.
Located in north central USA, South Dakota has only about 10 people per square mile. South Dakota was home to Arikara, Cheyenne, and Sioux peoples until the early 17th century. Three Sioux tribes, the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota, still occupy the Great Sioux Reservation, which covers much of South Dakota and was established by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.
In 1874, gold found in the Black Hills lured European settlers, and South Dakota became the 40th state on November 2, 1889. Farms, towns, and ranches divided up the open buffalo grazing lands, and buffalo gradually diminished. However, recent efforts to increase the number of buffalo have led to the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup.
South Dakota's most famous attraction is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where the faces of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt are carved into the mountain. Other tourist attractions in the state include the Crazy Horse Memorial monument in the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, and the granite Black Hills Caves.
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South Dakota History and Geography