National South Dakota Day - April 26
(Last Updated On: November 7, 2022)

In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!

National South Dakota Day - April 26


On April 26, National South Dakota Day recognizes the 40th state to join the union. The state is bordered by six states including Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, and its northern cousin, North Dakota. 

The Mount Rushmore State keeps its doors open all year round. After exploring the mountain, visitors can also enjoy Thomas Jefferson‘s vanilla ice cream while gazing at his likeness. And these sculptures are not the only ones South Dakota proudly displays, either. While there are several man-made displays, Wind Cave, the Missouri River, and the badlands remind us that mother nature still carves out her own.

As part of the Corps of Discovery, Lewis and Clark established Fort Pierre in 1804. Yankton was named the territorial capital in 1861 when the Dakota Territory was organized. However, Pierre would later be named the state capital when South Dakota was granted statehood on November 2, 1889, along with North Dakota.

The Black Hills of South Dakota hold tall tales, high trails, and deep valleys. From Deadwood to Sturgis and all points in between, the winding roads are breathtaking. Visit Spearfish Canyon for a hike or a relaxing drive.

Split Rock Creek north of Sioux Falls provides rock faces for climbers looking for a challenge. After the test, relax by the rushing waters of Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls.

The entire state is rich in history from corner to corner. The landscape changes dramatically from north to south with plenty of snow for skiers in winter and tons of sunshine in the summer.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSouthDakotaDay

  • Join National Day Calendar® as we explore the beautiful landscapes and rich history of South Dakota.
  • Take in the fantastic sculptures, breathtaking vistas, and legendary personalities.
  • Want to explore more? Check out these Five Must-See Places in South Dakota before planning your trip.
  • Share where you explore and use #NationalSouthDakotaDay to post on social media.

Crazy Horse’s legendary leadership and commitment to tradition have been well documented throughout history. In 1877, he joined forces with Sitting Bull, defeating George Custer’s troops at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Following the Battle of Little Big Horn, holy man and tribal leader Sitting Bull led his people to Canada, only to turn himself in four years later. He would tour with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, but the spiritual leader was dedicated to protecting the lands of the Sioux people.
Former Purdue University basketball coach, Ward “Piggy” Lambert served up 29 fast-paced seasons. His energetic style scored a 371-152 record and earned him a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960.
Inventor of the cyclotron, Ernest O. Lawrence received the 1939 Nobel prize in physics for his invention. A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator. They have been responsible advancements in medicine and nuclear science.
Myron Floren played accordion alongside bandleader Lawrence Welk for more than three decades. The “Happy Norwegian” played the upbeat “Champagne Music” and the polkas, too.
Crime novelist, Joseph Hansen, is best known for his series featuring investigator Dave Brandstetter.
Jess Thomas became a world-renowned opera tenor. He performed under the direction of Wieland Wagner, and some of his best-known roles were Lohengrin and Tristan, the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Octavius Caesar in Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra.
Historian, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn provides a body of work which includes collections of poetry, essays, fiction and historical non-fiction. Explore her poetry in I Remember the Fallen Trees: New and Selected Poems or visit the Missouri River during the 1960s by reading From the River’s Edge (2012).
Major League Baseball coach and manager, Sparky Anderson led the National Leagues Cincinnati Reds to two championships in 1975 and 1976. In 1984, Anderson added a third title to his collection with the Detroit Tigers.
From President Richard Nixon to President George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw reported the news. He started in college reporting on the radio and finished with the NBC Nightly News in 2004.
Marlo Anderson, founder of National Day Calendar, is also known as the Guru of Geek. He is a technology talk show host, co-founder of Zoovio, Inc. and, Awesome 2 Products.
January Jones currently plays the role of Melissa in The Last Man on Earth. Her career in the last decade has been busy between television and film roles. In 2010 she earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role as Emma Frost in Mad Men.
Chad Greenway played 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. As a linebacker, he was a two-time Probowler and a 2015 NFL Man of the Year.
Wall Drug – Wall

Mammoth Site – Hot Springs

Sioux Falls Michelangelos – Sioux Falls

World’s Largest Pheasant – Huron

Corn Palace – Mitchell

Shakespeare Garden – Wessington Springs

Photo by Marcus Wright on Unsplash

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