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5 Fun Facts About July 27 In South Dakota History

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1. In 1972, the town of Rapid City experienced a catastrophic flood that left 238 people dead and caused over $160 million in damages. The flood was triggered by a massive thunderstorm that dropped over a foot of rain in just 6 hours, causing several creeks and rivers to overflow and engulfing the city's low-lying neighborhoods.

2. On July 27, 1903, the famous Wild West outlaw "Kid Curry" was captured near Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Curry, whose real name was Harvey Logan, was a member of the notorious "Wild Bunch" gang led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He was wanted for multiple robberies and murders across the west, and was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison before escaping and continuing his life of crime.

3. The iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1941. The massive granite sculpture features the faces of four U.S. presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln – and is considered one of the greatest examples of American art and engineering. The monument attracts over 2 million visitors each year.

4. In 1890, the last major battle of the American Indian Wars took place at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The conflict between U.S. troops and the Lakota Sioux resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Sioux men, women, and children, and marked the end of the traditional way of life for many Native American tribes.

5. On July 27, 1915, Gordon Johnston became the first person to fly across the state of South Dakota. Johnston was a stunt pilot who performed at fairs and air shows across the country, and he made his historic flight in a Curtiss biplane, flying from Pierre to Rapid City in just over two hours. His flight helped to popularize aviation in the region, and laid the groundwork for future innovations in air travel.
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