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South Dakota Theme

State of South Dakota

Flag Seal
Nickname The Mount Rushmore State
Motto Under God, the people rule
Demonym South Dakotan
Capital Pierre
Largest city Sioux Falls
Area Ranked 17th in the US
- Total 77,116 sq mi
- Width 210 miles
- Length 380 miles
- % water 1.6
Population - Total 814,180 (2010)
  Ranked 46th in the US
- Density 10.5/sq mi
  Ranked 46th in the US
Elevation - Highest point:
  Harney Peak 7,244 ft
- Mean 2,200 ft
- Lowest point:
  Big Stone Lake 966 ft
Before statehood Dakota Territory
Admission to Union November 2, 1889 (40th)

State Symbols

BirdRing-necked Pheasant
FlowerAmerican Pasque flower
TreeBlack Hills Spruce
MineralRose quartz
InsectHoney bee
GemstoneFairburn agate
SongHail, South Dakota!

South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of 77,116 square miles (199,730 km2) and an estimated population of just over 800,000. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of nearly 160,000, is South Dakota's largest city.

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River". Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and fertile soil in this area is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains, is located in the southwest part of the state. The Black Hills are of great religious importance to local American Indians and the location of Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination. Other attractions in the southwest include Badlands and Wind Cave national parks, Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and historic Deadwood. South Dakota experiences a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The ecology of the state features species typical of a North American grassland biome.

Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, white settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads in the east. This settlement triggered a number of Indian Wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 50s, and continuing changes in agriculture. While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely dominated by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the eleven presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy to attract and retain residents. However, it is still largely rural and has the fifth-lowest population density among U.S. states. South Dakota's history and rural character still strongly influence the culture of the state.

Silly Joke

Q: Why are all the kids who live along the White River always in trouble?

A: Because they live in the Badlands!

Theme Elements

The image of Mount Rushmore in the bottom right corner of the page was taken by KnottyKnitterDirtMonkey who is particularly proud of that since her grandfather help carved them. The image of the pronghorn antelope was taken by Eidolon on his drive through South Dakota. The titlebar across the top of the page is of the Badlands but admittedly, I can't seem to find the email I got that had it and don't remember who sent it. If it looks familiar, though, let me know and I'll add credit here! =)

The gap between menubar items is a honey bee since that's South Dakota's state insect.


Now, time for a quick shout out to everyone on Atlas Quest from this state!


Letterboxing Cities

And, here are all of the cities in South Dakota we've hit with letterboxes!

State Mysteries (2) Codington County Custer County (2) Grant County Meade County Minnehaha County Pennington County Aberdeen Belvidere Beresford Brookings (7) Chamberlain Custer (7) Dakota Dunes De Smet (3) Deadwood (4) Dell Rapids Fort Pierre Gary (2) Hill City (4) Hot Springs Keystone (3) Madison (2) Mitchell (3) Mobridge Piedmont Pierre (7) Pringle Rapid City (4) Savoy Silver City Sioux Falls (6) Spearfish Sturgis (3) Tilford (2) Wall (2) Wasta Watertown Yankton (2)
Total Letterboxes: 86
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