(State of South Dakota)
South Dakota Flag
- Location: Midwestern United States
- Capital: Pierre
- Language(s): English
- Population: 823,346
- Total Area: 199,905 sq km
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There are fantastic wine festivals
- Most Popular Drink(s): Beers, wines
- What You Must Do in South Dakota: Visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills where the faces of four US presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln) have been carved into the hills. This memorial is instantly recognizable and is one of the most popular in the United States.
Named for the Dakota division of one of the Native American tribes (the Sioux Indians), the state got its name from an Indian word which means ‘allies’. The state was incorporated into the Union in 1889 as the 40th state. The state is bordered to the north by its ‘sister’ state of North Dakota and on the south by Nebraska. The states of Minnesota and Iowa borders South Dakota on the east while it is bordered on the west by Montana and Wyoming. Alongside North Dakota, the state was once part of the Dakota Territory and is now considered to one of the Great Plains states. The main geographical features of the state include the Badlands and the Black Hills which is mainly in the state (the other part stretches to neighboring Wyoming) which is a major center of tourist attraction as the popular Mount Rushmore National Memorial is etched on the face of the hills.
In South Dakota, Whites are so numerous that they make up almost 90% of the population and many of them have Scandinavian (Swedish, Norwegian and Danish), German, Russian, Irish, English, Dutch, Czech and Welsh roots. Apart from these people, there are about a dozen tribes of the Sioux Indians and the other ethnic groups are the Blacks (African Americans), Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and those of mixed ancestry. Christianity is the major religion with Protestant and Roman Catholic Church being the largest denominations.
If you really want to enjoy your stay in South Dakota, the best thing to do is to sample the local delicacies. Although small in population, the state is very rich when it comes to culinary matters. The traditional dish in the state is kuchen. This dish is a kind of cake and is used in the description of various sugary desserts and pastries. The dish is German in origin and is popular in some other states. While in the state, I was addicted to a type called kasekuchen which is filled with fruits and custard. In the capital city of Pierre, you can enjoy numerous delicacies and local meals made by some of the finest cooks in the country. You will also love the corn-based dishes made by the American Indians who I find to be very hospitable, kind and entertaining.
The whole state comes alive whenever there is a wine festival and you are most likely going to bump into one. The state has about a dozen wineries and that means you have ample opportunity to taste some of the finest wines in the region. As for me, I will always remember that bottle of fine La Crossewine sampled in one of the festivals. Beers, milk and soft drinks are available in South Dakota.
The people of South Dakota do not joke with sports and recreational activities at all. There are many teams for baseball, basketball, football, soccer and hockey. Many of these teams bear the name ‘Sioux’.
- The state insect is the honeybee.
- The state is also called the Mount Rushmore State.
- Missouri is actually the longest river in the state.
- The Mount Rushmore National Memorial situated in the Black Hills is one of the most popular sites in the United States.
- The state is home to the Ellsworth Air Force Base.
- Ellsworth Base also happens to be one of the most important employers in the region.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).