State Facts

  • Capital City: Pierre
  • Location: 44.372N, 100.322W
  • Admission to Statehood: November 2, 1889 (40th State)
  • Area: 77121 sq.mi, 17th Land 75898 sq. mi., 16th Water 1224 sq.mi., 30th
  • Border States: Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming
  • Highest Point: Black Elk Peak; 7,242 feet,15th
  • Largest Cities: Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Mitchell, Pierre, Yankton, Huron, Vermillion
  • Lowest Point: Big Stone lake; 962 feet, 46th
  • Motto: Under God the people rule

State Symbols

  • Flower - American Pasqueflower (1903)
  • Grass – Western Wheat Grass
  • Soil – Houdek
  • Tree – Black Hills Spruce
  • Bird – Ring-Necked Pheasant
  • Insect – Honeybee
  • Animal – Coyote
  • Mineral Stone – Rose Quartz
  • Gemstone – Fairburn Agate
  • Colors – Blue and Gold
  • Song – “Hail! South Dakota ”
  • Fish – Walleye
  • Musical Instrument – Fiddle
  • Dessert - Kuchen
  • State Seal
    Great Seal of the State of South Dakota 

Fun Facts

  • Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 6,200-foot Mount Rushmore in 1927. Creation of the Shrine to Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million, though it's now deemed priceless.  
  • The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are sculpted into Mount Rushmore, the world's greatest mountain carving.  
  • Jack McCall was tried, convicted and hanged two miles north of Yankton in 1877 for the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the Yankton cemetery.  
  • The site of a rich gold strike in 1875, Deadwood retains its mining town atmosphere. While Deadwood is one of the most highly publicized mining towns of the trans-Mississippi West, much of its fame rests on the famous or infamous characters that passed through.  
  • Belle Fourche is the geographical center of the United States of America, designated in 1959 and noted by an official marker and sheepherder's monument called a "Stone Johnnie".  
  • Jewel Cave is the third-longest cave in the world. More than 120 miles of passages have been surveyed. Calcite crystals that glitter when illuminated give the cave its name.  
  • The Crazy Horse mountain carving now in progress will be the world’s largest sculpture (563' high, 641' long, carved in the round). It is the focal point of an educational and cultural memorial to and for the North American Indian.  
  • Badlands National Park consists of nearly 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.  
  • Harney Peak, at 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies.  
  • Sturgis is home of the annual Black Hills Classic Motorcycle Rally.  
  • The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs contains the largest concentration of Columbian and woolly mammoth bones discovered in their primary context in the world.
  • Mitchell is the home of the world's only Corn Palace.  
  • The Flaming Fountain on South Dakota State Capitol Lake is fed by an artesian well with natural gas content so high that it can be lit. The fountain glows perpetually as a memorial to all veterans.
  • Black Hills National Cemetery "The Arlington of the West" is a final resting place of our nation's veterans.  
  • Rivers were the highways in settling the western territory. Lewis and Clark named American Creek when they passed through the Chamberlain - Oacoma area while exploring the territory for President Jefferson in 1804.  
  • The first & oldest Dakota daily newspaper, published in 1861 is the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan.  
  • The Meridian Bridge built in 1924 was the first structure built across the Missouri River in South Dakota.
  • The U.S.S. South Dakota was the most decorated battleship during World War II.
  • The Missouri River divides the state in half running north to south.
    South Dakota ranks 16th in size among the 50 states.
  • A herd of 1,500 bison roams freely throughout Custer State Park, often stopping traffic along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The herd is one of the largest in the world.
  • With more than 82 miles of mapped passages, Wind Cave contains the world’s largest display of a rare formation called boxwork.