The Mount Rushmore State


“Under God the People Rule”

Admitted To Union

November 2, 1889 — 40th State


77,121 square miles

Highest Point

Black Elk Peak; 7,242 feet

Lowest Point

Big Stone Lake; 962 feet

Geographic Center

Hughes, 8 miles northeast of Pierre


Prairie in the east; rolling hills of the Great Plains in the west; Black Hills in the southwest.


(2016 census) 865,454

State Flower

Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla hirsutissima)

State Mammal


State Bird

Ring-necked Pheasant

State Tree

Black Hills Spruce (Picea glauca)

State Song

Hail, South Dakota

State Mineral

Rose Quartz

State Gemstone

Fairburn Agate

State Jewelry

Black Hills Gold

State Fish


State Fossil


Largest Cities

Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Mitchell, Pierre, Yankton, Huron, Vermillion


Agriculture: Cattle, hogs, wheat, soybeans, milk, corn


Food processing, lumber and wood products, tourism


The South Dakota flag features the state seal surrounded by a golden blazing sun in a field of sky blue. Letters reading “South Dakota, The Mount Rushmore State” — the official state nickname — are arranged in a circle around the sun.

Origin of state’s name

Dakota is the Sioux Indian word for “friend”

Famous South Dakotans
Sparky Anderson – baseball manager, Bridgewater

Catherine Bach – actress, Faith/Rapid City

L. Frank Baum – newspaper editor, author, Aberdeen

Black Elk – Oglala chief

Bob Barker – Game Show Host, Mission

Tom Brokaw – TV newscaster, Webster-Yankton

Shawn Colvin – singer, Vermillion

Tom Daschle – U.S. Senator, Aberdeen

Vine Deloria – author, professor, Martin

Myron Floren – accordionist, Roslyn

Joe Foss – WWII pilot, Governor, NFL commissioner, Sioux Falls

Paul Goble – author, illustrator, Rapid City

Dick Green – MLB Baseball player, Rapid City

Becky Hammon – WNBA player, Rapid City

Mary Hart – TV personality, Sioux Falls

Linda Hasselstrom – rancher/author, Hermosa

Crazy Horse – Oglala chief

Hubert H. Humphrey – senator and vice president, Wallace

Roy Braxton Justus – cartoonist, Avon

Cheryl Ladd – actress, Huron

Randy Lewis – Olympic Gold medalist/wrestling, Rapid City

Russell Means – American Indian activist, Pine Ridge

George McGovern – Senator/presidential candidate, Avon

Billy Mills – Olympic Gold Medalist, Pine Ridge

Allen Newharth – USA Today founder, Eureka

Kathleen Norris – author, Lemmon

Pat O’Brien – TV personality, Sioux Falls

Dorothy Provine – actress, Deadwood

Rain-in-the-Face – Hunkpapa Sioux chief

Red Cloud – Oglala Sioux chief

Sitting Bull – Hunkpapa Sioux chief

Casey Tibbs – Bronc Rider, rodeo promoter, Ft. Pierre

Norm Van Brocklin – football player, Parade

Mamie Van Doren – actress, Rowena

Adam Vinateri – NFL kicker, Yankton/Rapid City

Laura Ingalls Wilder – pioneer and writer, DeSmet