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5 Fun Facts About February 4 In South Dakota History

---Learn Every Day: SD Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history sd To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1878, a severe blizzard swept across South Dakota, killing hundreds of people and leaving many more trapped in their homes for days. Known as the "Great Dakota Storm," it was one of the deadliest blizzards in US history.

2. On February 4, 1885, the town of Deadwood burned down in a massive fire that destroyed nearly 300 buildings. The fire started in the Northern Pacific Railroad depot and quickly spread, fueled by high winds and dry conditions.

3. In 1907, South Dakota became the first state in the country to introduce a statewide initiative and referendum process, which allows citizens to bypass the legislature and put proposed laws and constitutional amendments directly to a vote.

4. On February 4, 1943, the US Army established the Rapid City Army Air Base in South Dakota, which would later become Ellsworth Air Force Base. The base played a key role in training bomber pilots during World War II and remains an important military installation today.

5. In 1986, a major blizzard struck South Dakota, dumping over two feet of snow in some areas and causing widespread power outages and travel disruptions. The storm, which became known as the "President's Day Blizzard," coincided with the holiday weekend and resulted in several deaths and millions of dollars in property damage.
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