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South Dakota Atlas


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South Dakota facts and history plus travel and tourism information.

Capital: Pierre
Abbreviations: SD (postal), S. Dak.
Area: 77,121 square miles
State Bird: Ring-necked Pheasant
State Tree: Black Hills Spruce
State Flower: American Pasque Flower
State Motto: Under God the People Rule
Nicknames: The Mt Rushmore State, The Coyote State

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.

South Dakota Map

Map of South Dakota

South Dakota Links

  1. South Dakota Government - official South Dakota state website.
  2. South Dakota Tourism - South Dakota travel and tourism.
  3. National Parks in South Dakota
  4. South Dakota QuickFacts - from the US Census Bureau.
  5. - South Dakota

South Dakota Resources

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South Dakota History and Geography