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5 Fun Facts About March 4 In South Dakota History

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

1. South Dakota became a state: On March 4, 1889, South Dakota officially became a state, joining the United States as the 40th state. The statehood movement had been building for several years, and its successful conclusion marked a major milestone in South Dakota's history.

2. The Homestead Act was passed: On March 4, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law. This legislation provided for the distribution of public land to settlers across the western United States. Many South Dakotans took advantage of this opportunity, staking claims to homesteads and carving out new lives on the prairie.

3. President John F. Kennedy visited Rapid City: On March 4, 1960, then-Senator John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in Rapid City, South Dakota. His visit was part of a larger swing through the Midwest, as he sought to shore up support for his presidential bid. Kennedy went on to win the election later that year.

4. The Black Hills flood occurred: On March 4, 1972, a massive flood swept through the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Heavy rain combined with rapidly melting snow to create a deluge that caused widespread damage and claimed the lives of 238 people. The flood remains one of the deadliest natural disasters in the state's history.

5. The state's first school superintendent was elected: On March 4, 1862, the South Dakota territorial legislature elected its first superintendent of public instruction. This official was responsible for overseeing the territory's schools and promoting education across the region. The position would later become an important one in the state government.
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