South Dakota November 23, 2018
Some People Don’t Know That South Dakota Was The First To Do These 5 Things
Everyone knows about South Dakota and all of our one-of-a-kind attractions, but did you know that we were also the first to do some really big things? Whether you knew or not, read on as we discover the 5 things that South Dakota did before anywhere else:
1. One of the first complete skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was found near Faith, South Dakota.
Discovered in 1990 by explorer and fossil collector Sue Hendrickson, the T-Rex was the first specimen of its kind, as it was more than 90% complete. "Sue" now resides at the Field Museum in Chicago after undergoing a long battle over who was the rightful owner of the remains. (The bones were eventually auctioned off to the highest bidder, which was Field at $7.6M!)
2. The first modern hot air balloon was flown in Sioux Falls.
While the original hot air balloon was created in France in the late 1700s, it was revised and made safer in the 1960s by Raven Industries in Sioux Falls!
3. In 2001, a first-of-its-kind WWII Memorial opened at the Capitol in Pierre.
As per the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the "World War II Memorial depicts six soldiers fresh off the battlefield, posed in an eternal salute with Capitol Lake as their backdrop." If you have family or friends who have ever served, you will want to see this stunning tribute for yourself.
4. South Dakota pays homage to the spud in an innovative new way!
In an effort to celebrate this profitable and important area starch, the town of Clark began their annual Potato Days, which consists of mashed potato wrestling, recipe competitions, and even potato decorating! Since it first began in 1991, this quirky festival has become a state-wide favorite and takes place the first weekend of August.
5. SoDak was the first place in the world to ever experience a 49° temperature increase in less 5 minutes.
Can you imagine the weather changing from -4° to 49° in 2 minutes flat?! That's exactly what happened in 1943, when the Black Hills region experienced this rare phenomenon.
For even more fascinating history, check out
These 12 Rare Photos Show South Dakota’s Gold Rush History Like Never Before.