1743: The two LaVerendrye
brothers were the first Whites to explore the area
and left proof by burying a metal plate near the
1803: In the year 1803, the Dakota Territory was
bought as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
Lewis and Clark mapped and explored the region
around the Missouri River.
1817: White settlers began a fur trading post at
what is now Fort Pierre.
1858: Yankton Sioux Indians sign the 1858 Treaty
ceding much of eastern South Dakota to the U.S. Government.
1861: The U.S. Government establishes the Dakota
1874: General George Custer leads an expedition in which
gold is discovered in the Black Hills.
1889: South Dakota became a state.
1890: Pierre became the permanent capital of South
1890: 300 Sioux Indians are killed in what came
to be known as the Wounded Knee Massacre. It was
last major conflict between the Sioux and the U.S.
1900: Author L. Frank Baum published The Wonderful Wizard
of Oz, which led to the movie, “The
Wizard of Oz." He wrote the book while living in South
1927: Gutzon Borglum began work on Mt. Rushmore.
1930s: South Dakota's agricultural economy was decimated
by drought, dust, and the Depression in what was
known as the Dust Bowl.
1939: Badlands National Monument was established.
It was made a national park in 1978.
1948: Construction on the monument to the Oglala
chief, Crazy Horse, began.
1972: Failure of the Canyon Lake Dam near Rapid
City results in a devastating flood, killing 238
1991: George H.W. Bush officially dedicates Mt.