South Dakota, a state in the north of America nicknamed Mount Rushmore State, referring to the U.S. National Monument located in the state. According to ablogtophone, South Dakota has an area of 199,905 km² and a population of approximately 824,082. Pierre is the state capital.
Before Europeans settled South Dakota, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Arikara and the Sioux. The area was probably also inhabited in prehistoric times because domed burial chambers have been found that indicate this.
French explorers first visited the area around 1742-1743. Pierre Gaultier de Varennes buried a lead slab in the ground during this period as evidence of French claims to the area. This plate was discovered in 1913.
In 1794, another Frenchman visited the area: Jean Baptiste Truteau. This Frenchman, in the service of the Spaniards, moved north along the Missouri River and wintered in the area.
The famous American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark passed through the area of what is now the state of Missouri in 1804. After Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition, the fur trade in South Dakota began to take off. Jean Pierre Chouteau traveled up the Missouri in a steamboat and founded a fort in 1831 on the site of the current state capital. This capital is named after this pioneer: Pierre.
America acquired part of the present state of South Dakota through the Louisiana Purchase, a transaction between the US and France. The rest of the area came into American hands in 1818 when a treaty was concluded with the English.
In 1862 most settlers leave the area because of wars with the Sioux Indians. In 1875-1876, however, a new settler migration started. This is due to reports of possible gold that can be found in the state. Since this gold is located in areas that were promised to the Native Americans as a place to live, a new war ensues. Another famous battle between the Native Americans and Americans also occurred in South Dakota: the Wounded Knee Massacre.
In 1889, the Dakota Territory was divided into a northern ( North Dakota ) and a southern (South Dakota) part. According to bestitude, South Dakota joined the United States as a state on November 2, 1889.
South Dakota’s largest tourist attraction is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. In this national park is the national monument: the carved stone busts of four important presidents of America. This monument symbolizes the first 150 years of history of the United States.
Flag and motto of South Dakota
The South Dakota flag shows a sky-blue field with the state seal on it. Around this seal are the words South Dakota – The Mount Rushmore State. Until 1992, the state’s nickname was The Sunshine State. However, this was changed because that term was used to refer to the state of Florida.
Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park is located in the American state of South Dakota, which, as the name suggests, hides a unique cave. Wind Cave means “Wind Cave” in Czech. The most famous one can be found not far from the town of Hot Springs, the length of its passages exceeds 192 km, which makes this cave the fourth longest known cave in the world. However, the corridors are so convoluted that in some places they resemble a maze.
The majority of the cave is covered by a special calcite form called “boxwork”, which resembles honeycombs. Another no less interesting formation are small bush-like formations called “frostwork” or balls called simply “popcorn”.
The fact that there is a cave in these places was already known to the original Lakota Indian tribes, who worshiped it as the seat of their ancestors and did not dare to enter it. It was only discovered in 1881 by brothers Tom and Jesse Bingham, who lowered themselves through a small opening into its interior. Through the opening could be heard a howling air current, which later gave the cave its name. The flowing wind helps balance the differences in atmospheric pressure in the cave.
Only sixteen-year-old Alvin McDonald was responsible for a more thorough exploration of the cave, who discovered other large spaces. Wind Cave was opened to the public at the beginning of the 20th century. Space explorations and various scientific researches continue here to this day. The surroundings of the cave were declared a national park in 1903 by the then president Theodore Roosevelt. It was the first national park in the world to include such extensive cave systems.
The landscape above the cave is covered with grassy prairies, over which the largest herd of bison in the world roam. However, you have to be very careful when meeting a bison, the animals can weigh up to one ton and can reach a speed of around 50 km/h, which is three times faster than a human. Here you can also see wapiti deer, American pronghorn or prairie dogs. Most of the national park is open to the public and is criss-crossed by around 50 kilometers of hiking trails of various lengths. Jewel Cave is also located near the Wind Cave.