The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – March 2022: South Dakota

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – March 2022: South Dakota

1bhabeck
Mar 1, 4:15am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we travel back to the midwestern portion of the US and visit – South Dakota.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – March 2022: South Dakota


History
South Dakota is a U.S. state in the North Central region of the United States. It is also part of the Great Plains. South Dakota is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who comprise a large portion of the population with nine reservations currently in the state and have historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the 5th least populous, and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. They are the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union; President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the statehood papers before signing them so that no one could tell which became a state first. Pierre is the state capital, and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city.

Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri River, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, is in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome.

Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming.

While several Democrats have represented South Dakota for multiple terms in both chambers of Congress, the state government is largely controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still influence strongly the state's culture.

Geography

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota (to the north), Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest). The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River".

South Dakota can generally be divided into three regions: eastern South Dakota, western South Dakota, and the Black Hills. The Missouri River serves as a boundary in terms of geographic, social, and political differences between eastern and western South Dakota. The geography of the Black Hills, long considered sacred by Native Americans, differs from its surroundings to such an extent it can be considered separate from the rest of western South Dakota. At times the Black Hills are combined with the rest of western South Dakota, and people often refer to the resulting two regions divided by the Missouri River as West River and East River.

The Black Hills are in the southwestern part of South Dakota and extend into Wyoming. This range of low mountains covers 6,000 sq mi (16,000 km2), with peaks that rise from 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 to 1,200 m) above their bases. The Black Hills are the location of Black Elk Peak (7,242 ft or 2,207 m above sea level), the highest point in South Dakota and also the highest point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two-billion-year-old Precambrian formations, the oldest rocks in the state, form the central core of the Black Hills. Formations from the Paleozoic Era form the outer ring of the Black Hills; these were created between roughly 540 and 250 million years ago. This area features rocks such as limestone, which were deposited here when the area formed the shoreline of an ancient inland sea. The name “Black Hills” comes from the Lakota words Paha Sapa, which mean “hills that are black”. Seen from a distance, these pine-covered hills, rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie, appear black.


Fun Facts
South Dakota’s most famous landmark is Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a larger-than-life sculpture that was carved into the side of a granite mountain in the Black Hills between 1927 and 1941. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 6,200-foot Mount Rushmore in 1927. Constructed to attract tourists to the remote area, it features the faces of four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Although each awe-inspiring head is 60 feet high, the entire project took only 14 years and less than $1 million to complete.


Speaking of Mount Rushmore, the renowned peak got its name from Charles E. Rushmore, a lawyer from New York City who made a business trip to the Black Hills in 1884 to check the legal titles on properties. He asked a local what the mountain’s name was, and he replied, "Never had a name but from now on we'll call it Rushmore."

Clark is the Potato Capital of South Dakota. Clark is home to the world famous Mashed Potato Wrestling contest. Each year, the tiny farming town of Clark, South Dakota throws a giant party to celebrate its chief crop: the humble potato. Potato Day features a Best Decorated Potato Contest, a Potato Dish Cooking Contest, and a Mashed Potato Wrestling Contest in which adults grapple in a huge tub of pureed spuds.


Jewel Cave is the third-longest cave in the world. More than 180 miles of passages have been surveyed. Calcite crystals that glitter when illuminated give the cave its name.


The Crazy Horse mountain carving now in progress will be the world’s largest sculpture (563′ high, 641′ long, carved in the round). It is the focal point of an educational and cultural memorial to and for the North American Indian. The privately-financed sculpture has been in the works since 1948.


The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs contains the largest concentration of Columbian and woolly mammoth bones discovered in their primary context in the world! This National Natural Landmark is the only in-situ (bones left as found) display of fossil mammoths in America. Another famous site for paleontologists is Faith, SD. In fact, one of history's most famous dinosaurs, Sue the T. Rex, was discovered near the Badlands in 1990. At 42 feet long and 12 feet high at the hips, she's considered to be the largest and most-complete T. rex ever found. You can check out Sue if you visit The Field Museum in Chicago, where she's part of the institution's permanent collections.


Sioux Falls, South Dakota was once known as the “Divorce Capital of the Nation." During the early 20th century, most states required at least one year of residency and grounds of adultery for a married couple to legally split up. In contrast, Sioux Falls had a residency requirement of only three to six months, and allowed individuals to divorce on six grounds. Thanks to these conditions, more than 6000 divorces were granted from 1889 until the laws were overhauled in 1909. (About two-third of those splits involved people who weren’t from South Dakota.) Recently, Sioux Falls paid homage to this dubious distinction by erecting a historical marker downtown.

Would you rather settle in South Dakota, or Mars? That's a question that was recently posited by the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development. They launched an ad campaign last spring telling potential residents why they should choose to live in their state instead of signing up to colonize the Red Planet. Their logic? Earth has air, not to mention jobs. Meanwhile, Mars has neither. "Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?" the ad asks.

Three states in the U.S. have made rodeo their official state sport: Texas, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

More than 175 different butterfly species live in SD.


Internationally famous, the Sturgis Rally and Races, held during the first full week of August, welcomes motorcyclists from all parts of the world to tour and show their skills competing in the hill climb and racing events. Throughout the years, the Rally has grown into a 15-day premier event with the attendance of more than 650,000 racers, visitors, and celebrities!

Notable Residents

Robert William Barker (born December 12, 1923) is an American retired television game show host. He is known for hosting CBS's The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history. He is also known for hosting Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1975. Though actually born in Darrington, Washington, “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker is considered a famous native of South Dakota. Barker spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Mission, South Dakota. The U.S. Indian Census Rolls, 1885–1940, list Barker as an enrolled member of the Sioux tribe. His mother, Matilda ("Tillie") Valandra (née Matilda Kent Tarleton), was a school teacher; his father, Byron John Barker, was the foreman on the electrical high line through the state of Washington. Barker's father was one-quarter Sioux4 and his mother was not, so Barker was one-eighth Sioux.5 Barker went to the Sioux school in Mission. He once said, I've always bragged about being part Indian, because they are a people to be proud of. And the Sioux were the greatest warriors of them all."

Famous figures that hail from South Dakota include TV journalist Tom Brokaw, actress January Jones, Ernest O. Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron particle accelerator and won the 1939 Nobel Prize for Physics, and Hubert Humphrey, who served as the 38th Vice President of the U.S. Laura Ingalls Wilder also chronicled the years she spent on a South Dakota homestead in her popular Little House book series.

Mystery authors from South Dakota include: J.A. Jance, Lori Armstrong, and Joseph Hansen. Other authors include: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Adam Johnson, Russell Means, Ole Rolvaag, Ann Charles and Jonas Lee.

In honor of SOUTH DAKOTA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Gold," "South," "Crazy," "Divorce," or "Black" in the title OR has a picture of a butterfly, a dinosaur or a motorcycle on the cover OR the cover is primarily black and gold;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in South Dakota or one of the states bordering South Dakota OR includes a Native American main character OR has a western theme; and

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in SOUTH DAKOTA.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: Mar 11, 5:36pm

Brenda's March Americana Challenge - South Dakota
3 of 3 Complete


In honor of SOUTH DAKOTA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Gold," "South," "Crazy," "Divorce," or "Black" in the title OR has a picture of a butterfly, a dinosaur or a motorcycle on the cover OR the cover is primarily black and gold;
White Gold by Rachel Amphlett; finished 3/2/22; 3stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in South Dakota or one of the states bordering South Dakota OR includes a Native American main character OR has a western theme; and
Nearly Departed in Deadwood by Ann Charles; takes place in Deadwood, SD; finished 3/11/22; 4 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in SOUTH DAKOTA.
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas; finished 3/5/22; 3.5 stars

3Carol420
Edited: Mar 13, 1:30pm


Carol Remembers Bob Barker
🍀- ★
2/3
🍀1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Gold," "South," "Crazy," "Divorce," or "Black" in the title OR has a picture of a butterfly, a dinosaur or a motorcycle on the cover OR the cover is primarily black and gold.
Black Cake - Charmaine Wilkerson- 4★ (Black in the title)

2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in South Dakota or one of the states bordering South Dakota OR includes a Native American main character OR has a western theme
The Fight Within - Andrew Grey -★

🍀3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in SOUTH DAKOTA.
A Time of Love and Tartan - Alexander McCall Smith - 4★ (A & S)

4Carol420
Edited: Mar 13, 1:31pm


Carol Remembers Bob Barker
🍀- ★
3/3 - Done 3/12
🍀1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Gold," "South," "Crazy," "Divorce," or "Black" in the title OR has a picture of a butterfly, a dinosaur or a motorcycle on the cover OR the cover is primarily black and gold.
Black Cake - Charmaine Wilkerson- 4★ (Black in the title)

🍀2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in South Dakota or one of the states bordering South Dakota OR includes a Native American main character OR has a western theme
The Fight Within - Andrew Grey - 4★ (Takes place in Sout Dakota AND features a Native American character)

🍀-3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in SOUTH DAKOTA.
A Time of Love and Tartan- Alexander McCall Smith - 4★ (A & S)

5Olivermagnus
Edited: Mar 31, 6:26pm



South Dakota - Closer Than North Dakota

3
of 3 Complete

In honor of SOUTH DAKOTA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

🐎 A Mystery/Suspense book with a cover is primarily black and gold;
Museum of Extraordinary Things - Alice Hoffman - 3.5 Stars - 3/9/22


🐎 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in South Dakota or one of the states bordering South Dakota.
Edge of Courage - Elaine Levine - 3 Stars - 3/29/22

🐎 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in SOUTH DAKOTA
Presumed Innocent - Scott Torow - 4.5 Stars - ST

6Carol420
Mar 2, 7:35am

>5 Olivermagnus: LOL! So true:)

7mnleona
Mar 2, 12:03pm

I remember Bob Barker.

8Sergeirocks
Edited: Mar 18, 7:13pm

Prince of Fire - Daniel Silva 4.5★s (Author’s initials in SOUTH DAKOTA)
Cave of Bones - Anne Hillerman 4.5★s (Native American main characters)
The Law of Angels - Cassandra Clark 3.75★s (Cover primarily black and gold)

9gaylebutz
Mar 5, 5:21pm

I'm going to read Any Other Name by Craig Johnson.
It takes place in South Dakota and Wyoming, which borders South Dakota, and has a Native American as a main character.

Both of my parents grew up in South Dakota but they didn't know each other until they met at work in Washington, D.C.

When my mother was a teenager, she was in a band that often played at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It's known as the only Corn Palace in the world. It's not really made of corn but I guess it's good that the place is known for something! :)

10bhabeck
Mar 5, 11:00pm

>9 gaylebutz: interesting fact about your parents - small world.

11bhabeck
Mar 11, 5:36pm

12Carol420
Edited: Mar 12, 8:35am

>11 bhabeck:


Good work!!

13Carol420
Mar 12, 11:57am

I'm done. Thanks for the trip, Brenda.

14bhabeck
Mar 13, 11:32pm

>13 Carol420: Nice! Congrats!

15gaylebutz
Mar 19, 4:51pm

Done - Any Other Name by Craig Johnson - 4 *
It takes place in South Dakota and Wyoming, which borders South Dakota, and has a Native American as a main character.

16bhabeck
Mar 20, 1:31am

>15 gaylebutz: >8 Sergeirocks: Well done both of you!

17Sergeirocks
Mar 20, 6:22pm

>16 bhabeck: Thanks, Brenda, 🙂.

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