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5 Fun Facts About January 8 In South Dakota History

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1. In 1897, the state's first woman senator was born on January 8th. Gladys Pyle served in the South Dakota State Senate from 1937-1941 and was the first woman elected to the United States Senate from South Dakota in 1938.

2. On January 8, 1900, an educational reformer named James B. Abbott founded the Northern Normal and Industrial School (now known as Northern State University) in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The school was created to provide teacher education and technical training to students.

3. In 1963, the South Dakota Legislative Research Council was established on January 8th. The agency is responsible for providing research, assistance, and analytical services to the South Dakota Legislature.

4. On January 8, 1986, the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup was officially recognized as a tourism event. The annual event, which takes place in September, attracts thousands of visitors to watch cowboys and cowgirls roundup and drive over 1,000 of the park's bison.

5. In 2019, South Dakota celebrated its first Indigenous Peoples' Day on January 8th. The day was officially signed into law by Governor Kristi Noem in March 2019, making South Dakota the first state to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of Columbus Day. The move was intended to honor and recognize the state's Indigenous populations and their role in its history.
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