The land, currently known as South Dakota, was part of the northern Plains territory claimed by the French and later sold to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. It was named after the Dakota Sioux nation, the most significant of the various Native American tribes that inhabited these lands for thousands of years.
In 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states to be admitted into the Union. There was disagreement over which state should be sworn in first, so President Benjamin Harrison did not record the order. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial was started by Gutzon Borglum in 1927. He originally planned to sculpt George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt from head to waist but passed away in 1941 before the project was completed.
South Dakota is the fifth least populous and the 17th largest state in the country. Sioux Falls is the largest city, while Pierre is the state’s capital. Currently, agriculture plays a significant role in South Dakota’s economy. Additionally, the state’s tourism industry is rising, with Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park being popular tourist attractions.