November 25, 2015

2071 UNITED STATES (South Dakota) - South Dakota map

Located in the Midwestern region of the United States and bordered by North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana, South Dakota was named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 165,000, is the largest city. South Dakota experiences a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west.

The state is bisected by the Missouri River into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known as "East River" and "West River". The first one is home to most of the state's population, and fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops, and in the last one ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. South Dakota's history and rural character still strongly influence the culture of the state.
Humans have lived in what is today South Dakota for at least several thousand years. European contact with the area began in 1743, when the LaVerendrye brothers explored the region, claiming it for France, but in 1762 it became part of the Spanish Louisiana until 1802. By the early 19th century, the Sioux had largely replaced the Arikara as the dominant group in the area. In 1803, the US purchased the Louisiana Territory, an area that included most of South Dakota.

In 1817, an American fur trading post was set up at present-day Fort Pierre, beginning continuous American settlement of the area. In 1858 the Yankton Sioux signed the 1858 Treaty, ceding most of present-day eastern South Dakota to the US. In 1861, the Dakota Territory was established (this initially included North Dakota, South Dakota, and parts of Montana and Wyoming). In 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills and miners and explorers began illegally entering land promised to the Lakota. War broke out after the U.S. failed to stop them.

A growing population caused Dakota Territory to be divided in half, South Dakota and North Dakota being admitted to the union in 1889. On December 29, 1890, the Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Commonly cited as the last major armed conflict between the US and the Lakota Sioux Nation, the massacre resulted in the deaths of about 300 Sioux, many of them women and children. 31 U.S. soldiers were also killed, and at least 20 were awarded the Medal of Honor after this act of "bravery".

During the 1930s, several economic and climatic conditions combined with disastrous results for South Dakota. A lack of rainfall, extremely high temperatures and inappropriate cultivation techniques produced what was known as the Dust Bowl in South Dakota and several other plains states. Fertile topsoil was blown away in massive dust storms, and several harvests were completely ruined.

Economic stability returned with the U.S. entry into WWII in 1941, when demand for the state's agricultural and industrial products grew as the nation mobilized for war. In recent decades, South Dakota has been transformed from a state dominated by agriculture to one with a more diversified economy. Two major tourist destination, The Black Hills (a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux) and Mount Rushmore, are located in the state.

About the stamps
The first three stamps, depicting Scarlet King Snake, Ornate Chorus Frog, and Reticulate Collared Lizard, are part of the series Reptiles & Amphibians, about which I wrote here. The last stamp, depicting Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and American pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens), the bird and the flower of the state of South Dakota, is part of the series State Birds and Flowers, about which I wrote here.

South Dakota - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 10.11.2015

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