South Dakota - History and Heritage | Travel | Smithsonian
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South Dakota - History and Heritage

South Dakota - History and Heritage

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Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (Wall)
The drama underlying the Cold War is relived at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site near Wall, where visitors can see how the end of the world could have begun. The site is the first national park in the world dedicated to commemorating the events of the Cold War. Delta Nine, an underground concrete silo on the edge of the Badlands National Park, held a Minuteman II missile that could have sent a nuclear weapon to the Soviet Union in 30 minutes.

Lewis and Clark Trail
William Clark and Meriwether Lewis spent the late summer and early fall of 1804 exploring present-day South Dakota. Their 1806 return trip led them back through the same area. Little did President Thomas Jefferson know that when he sent these two adventurers up the Missouri River to explore America’s frontier, he was about to become the author of one of American’s most famous history lessons. South Dakota’s Lewis and Clark Trail offers adventure, a fascinating history and stunning scenery to all who visit.

Historic Deadwood
The entire city of Deadwood is a national historic landmark. Follow the footsteps of legends as you explore the beauty and history of this one-of-a-kind Wild West town. Visiting Deadwood is like jumping back in time. You can ponder the truth at the foot of Wild Bill's grave in Mount Moriah cemetery, tour the Adams House, pan for gold in the Broken Boot Mine, choose from various guided tours or take a self-guided walking tour into the past that puts the Wild West into perspective. The summertime offers visitors daily reenactments and events, while the wintertime brings skiing, snowmobiling and other great wintertime events to an already alive gaming town.

Laura Ingalls Wilder (De Smet)
Pa Ingalls set claim to this quarter section in 1880. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote many of her Little House stories about this land. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead is in the heart of South Dakota's tall grass prairie in De Smet. Each summer, many groups and families visit the Ingalls Homestead to relive the Little House stories. Visit the original homes of famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder and take a covered wagon ride or take in the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant.

Ft. Sisseton State Park
This 1864 fort, atop the Coteau des Prairies (or "hills of the prairies"), is a rare reminder of the western frontier. Originally a frontier army outpost, this National Historic Landmark has been restored and is open to the public. The annual Ft. Sisseton Historical Festival provides entertainment, culture and history for the whole family to enjoy.

Sica Hollow State Park
Eerie Sioux legends recall mysterious happenings here. The Hollow's first Indian visitors named it "Sica" (pronounced SHE-cha), meaning evil or bad. Along the Trail of the Spirits, a Registered National Recreation Trail, you'll see gurgling reddish bogs, which Indians saw as the blood and flesh of their ancestors. You can find swamp gas and stumps that glow in the dark or hear small waterfalls echoing as trapped air escapes. A journey through the area still reveals the natural occurrences that fueled the legends. An interpretive guide is available to bring these legends to life.

1880 Train
Take a ride on the Black Hills Central Railroad. Located near Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore, this vintage steam engine train offers a western experience like no other. This train ride takes you through the scenic Black Hills between Keystone and Hill City and back. It's a great experience for all ages.

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