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Facts About South Dakota History: 6 Things You Might Not Know

Image: Facts About South Dakota History: 6 Things You Might Not Know
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota features sculptures of former U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. (Dreamshot/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 10 Apr 2015 10:19 AM

South Dakota is known for its rich culture, national monuments, parks and Native American history. There are plenty of facts about South Dakota that make it a unique and bold state.

Here are six facts about South Dakota you might not know:

1. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial was originally designed to be much larger. The monument, which depicts presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt was actually supposed to feature the figures from head to waist.

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When sculptor Gutzon Borglum passed away before completing the design in 1941, World War I was just beginning and Congress pulled funding from the project because of the war, according to History.com. 

2. Badlands National Park is located is also considered to be one of the richest fossil beds in the world. The park covers 244,000 acres. According to the National Park Service, "ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse and saber-toothed cat once roamed here." People come from all over the world to witness the "rugged beauty" of the Badlands.

3. South Dakota is the site of the American Indian Movement (AIM) that targeted corruption between tribal governments and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. On Feb. 27, 1973 AIM took siege of a trading post at Wounded Knee for 71 days. Today the action is referred to as the Siege at Wounded Knee, according to History.com.

4. Chief Iron Nation died and was buried in South Dakota in 1894. It wasn't until 2014 that the gravesite was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The grave marker, which was placed in 1934, is the first known marker erected for a Lakota chief in the state of South Dakota.

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5. Gold fever took over South Dakota in 1874 and brought the likes of people like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane to the region. Mining camps began to spring up across the state. Lt. Col. George A. Custer first discovered the gold while on an expedition in the Black Hills.

South Dakota was once considered the country's top region for gold mining. In 2001 the last famous gold mine closed, but people continue to mine the region in hopes of striking it big.

6.
The Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain carving in the world. A tribute to American Indians, work on this memorial began with mountain blasting in 1948. The work continued for more than 50 years, with the face being complete 1998. The final product will stand nine stories tall and is still a carving in progress.

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South Dakota is known for its rich culture, national monuments, parks and Native American history. There are plenty of facts about South Dakota that make it a unique and bold state.
facts about south dakota, history
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2015-19-10
Friday, 10 Apr 2015 10:19 AM
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