South Dakota in History

South Dakota: Sioux Falls

Historical Events


Famous Photo1st Photograph of a Tornado

1884-08-28 First known photograph of a tornado is made near Howard, South Dakota

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One of the 1st known photographs of a tornado, taken in 1884 by F.N. Robinson
One of the 1st known photographs of a tornado, taken in 1884 by F.N. Robinson
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  • 1889-02-22 US President Cleveland signs bill to admit Dakotas, Montana & Washington state to the union
  • 1889-11-02 North Dakota becomes 39th & South Dakota becomes 40th state in the United States

USAWounded Knee Massacre

1890-12-29 US 7th Cavalry massacre 200+ captive Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota

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Mass grave for the dead after the massacre
Mass grave for the dead after the massacre
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  • 1891-07-05 Hail kills 16 horses in Rapid City, South Dakota
  • 1896-06-11 US Assay Office in Deadwood South Dakota authorized
  • 1898-04-20 US Assay Office in Deadwood, South Dakota opens
  • 1900-09-10 20.3 cm rainfall at Elk Point, South Dakota (state record)
  • 1903-01-09 Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, established
  • 1921-10-28 First American gubernatorial recall election is held in North Dakota. Governor Lynn Frazier loses to Ragnvald A. Nestos by just over 4,000 votes (1.8%).
  • 1927-06-30 US Assay Office in Deadwood, South Dakota closes
  • 1931-07-27 Grasshoppers in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota destroyed thousands of acres of crops
  • 1936-02-17 -58°F (-50°C), McIntosh, South Dakota (state record)
  • 1936-07-05 120°F (49°C), Gannvalley, South Dakota (state record)
  • 1943-01-20 Lead, South Dakota, temperature is 52°F, while 1.5 miles away Deadwood records -16°F
  • 1943-01-22 Temperature rises 49°F (9°C) in 2 minutes in Spearfish, South Dakota
  • 1945-07-14 Battleship USS South Dakota is 1st US ship to bombard Japan
  • 1963-09-14 Mary Ann Fischer of Aberdeen, South Dakota, gives birth to America's 1st surviving quintuplets, 4 girls & a boy
  • 1973-02-27 American Indian Movement occupy Wounded Knee in South Dakota

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973-05-08 Indians holding South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrender

Civil Rights Activist Ralph Abernathy
Civil Rights Activist
Ralph Abernathy
  • 1975-06-26 Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement are killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; Leonard Peltier is later convicted of the murders in a controversial trial.
  • 1979-06-13 Sioux nation receives $100 million in compensation for Black Hills, South Dakota
  • 1989-12-22 Cold wave: -6°F in Tulsa, Oklahoma; -12°F in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; -18°F in Denver, Colorado; -23°F in Kansas City, Missouri; -42°F in Scottsbluff, Nebraska; -47°F in Hardin, Montana; and -60°F in Black Hills, South Dakota
  • 1993-04-19 South Dakota governor George Mickelson and seven others are killed when a state-owned aircraft crash lands in Iowa
  • 2003-08-16 U.S. Representative from South Dakota Bill Janklow hits and kills a motorcyclist with his car at a rural intersection near Trent, South Dakota; he will eventually be convicted of manslaughter and will resign from Congress.
  • 2006-03-06 South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signs a bill into legislation that would ban most abortions in the state.
  • 2019-03-18 “Historic to catastrophic flooding" faced by Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota according to US National Weather Service

Famous Birthdays

  • 1892-11-08 John Miljan, American actor (The Ten Commandments, Possessed, Final Extra, Susan Lenox), born in Lead City, South Dakota (d. 1960)
  • 1898-11-13 Earl Sande, American jockey (Hall of Famer), born in Groton, South Dakota (d. 1968)
  • 1901-08-08 Ernest Lawrence, American nuclear scientist and inventor (Cyclotron - Nobel 1939), born in Canton, South Dakota (d. 1958)
  • 1901-12-03 Glenn Hartranft, American athlete (discus WR 47.89m 1925; Olympic silver shot putt 1924), born in Aberdeen, South Dakota (d. 1970)
  • 1903-01-08 Gene Roth [Eugene Stutenroth], American actor (She Demons, Tormented, The Spider), born in Redfield, South Dakota (d. 1976)

Person of interestHubert Humphrey

1911-05-27 Hubert Humphrey, American politician, 38th Vice President of the United States (1965-69), and 1968 Presidential candidate, born in Wallace, South Dakota (d. 1978)

US Vice President Hubert Humphrey
US Vice President
Hubert Humphrey
  • 1913-03-20 Judith Evelyn [Evelyn Morris], American actress (13th Letter, Tingler, Rear Window), born in Seneca, South Dakota (d. 1967)
  • 1915-04-17 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (d. 2003)
  • 1919-11-05 Myron Floren, American accordionist (Lawrence Welk Show), born in Roslyn, Day County, South Dakota (d. 2005)
  • 1921-08-09 J. James Exon, American Democratic politician (33rd Governor of Nebraska), born in Geddes, South Dakota (d. 2005)
  • 1922-07-19 George McGovern, American politician and Presidential candidate (D-1972), born in Avon, South Dakota (d. 2012)
  • 1922-11-16 Gene Amdahl, American computer scientist who designed the IBM mainframe, born in Flandreau, South Dakota (d. 2015)
  • 1927-08-04 Jess Thomas, American tenor known for his singing in Richard Wagner operas, born in Hot Springs, South Dakota (d. 1993)
  • 1927-08-08 Jim Weaver, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon), born in Brookings, South Dakota
  • 1927-10-06 Alice Bauer, American golfer (co-founder LPGA), born in Eureka, South Dakota (d. 2002)
  • 1931-02-06 Mamie Van Doren, American actress, model, singer, and sex symbol (Teacher's Pet, The Navy vs. the Night Monsters), born in Rowena, South Dakota
  • 1932-09-16 Joan Tabor, American actress (Teenage Millionaire), born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (d. 1968)
  • 1934-02-16 Marlene Bauer Hagge, American golfer, co-founder LPGA (Woman's PGA C'ship 1956), born in Eureka, South Dakota

Person of interestSparky Anderson

1934-02-22 Sparky Anderson, American MLB manager (Cincinnati Reds; World Series 1984 Detroit Tigers), born in Bridgewater, South Dakota (d. 2010)

MLB Player and Manager Sparky Anderson
MLB Player and Manager
Sparky Anderson
  • 1934-05-10 Gary Owens, American disc jockey/TV host (Laugh In, Gong Show), born in Mitchell, South Dakota
  • 1937-01-20 Dorothy Provine, American actress (Good Neighbor Sam, Darn Cat), born in Deadwood, South Dakota
  • 1938-06-30 Billy Mills, 10k (Olympic gold 1964), born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota
  • 1938-06-30 William Mervin Mills, 10K runner (Olympic gold 1964), born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota
  • 1938-11-24 Spencer Johnson, American author (Who Moved My Cheese?), born in Watertown, South Dakota (d. 2017)
  • 1939-09-13 Bill Janklow, American politician and four-term Governor of South Dakota (Republican: 1979-87, 1995-2003), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • 1939-11-10 Russell Means, Native American activist, actor, writer, and musician, born in Porcupine, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota (d. 2012)
  • 1940-02-06 Tom Brokaw, American news anchor (NBC Nightly News 1982-2004), born in Webster, South Dakota
  • 1942-03-29 Larry Pressler, American politician, United States Senator from South Dakota, born in Humboldt, South Dakota
  • 1942-05-05 Amy Hill, American comedian and actress (Grandma-Seinfeld, Pauly Shore), born in Deadwood, South Dakota
  • 1942-12-19 "Mean" Gene Okerlund, American pro wrestling interviewer, announcer and television host (WWF, WCW), born in Brookings, South Dakota (d. 2019)
  • 1946-12-28 Tim Johnson, American politician, senior senator from South Dakota
  • 1947-12-09 Tom Daschle, American politician (U.S. Senator from South Dakota), born in Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • 1951-07-12 Cheryl Ladd, American actress (Charlie's Angels, Purple Hearts), born in Huron, South Dakota
  • 1951-11-08 Mary Hart, American TV hostess (Entertainment Tonight), born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • 1954-10-24 Mike Rounds, American politician (31st Governor of South Dakota), born in Huron, South Dakota
  • 1955-04-11 Kevin Brady, American politician (Rep Texas (R) 1997-), born in Vermillion, South Dakota
  • 1956-01-10 Shawn Colvin, American country folk singer-songwriter ("Sunny Came Home"), born in Vermillion, South Dakota
  • 1961-01-07 John Thune, American politician, born in Pierre, South Dakota
  • 1962-10-24 Jay Novacek, American NFL tight end (Dallas Cowboys), born in Martin, South Dakota
  • 1971-12-05 Bryan Schwartz, American NFL linebacker (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in St. Lawrence, South Dakota
  • 1972-07-26 Ryan Christopherson, American NFL running back (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • 1972-12-28 Adam Vinatieri, US NFL placekicker (Amsterdam Admirals, NE Patriots), born in Yankton, South Dakota
  • 1977-07-12 Brock Lesnar, American mixed martial artist and professional wrestler (WWE), born in Webster, South Dakota
  • 1978-01-05 January Jones, American actress, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • 1979-06-12 Dallas Clark, American NFL tight end, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • 1980-07-27 Jessi Combs, American auto racer, television personality (women’s land speed class record [4 wheels] 2013, 16), born in Rockerville, South Dakota (d. 2019)
  • 1984-03-13 Rachael Bella, American actress (The Ring), born in Vermillion, South Dakota

Famous Weddings

  • 2010-10-10 Actress and singer Alexa Vega (22) weds film producer Sean Covel (34) at the historical Homestake Opera House in South Dakota

Famous Deaths

  • 2012-01-12 Bill Janklow, American politician and four-term Governor of South Dakota (Republican: 1979-87, 1995-2003), dies of brain cancer at 72
  • 2015-09-09 Robin McDonald, Scottish rock guitarist (Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas), dies at 72