South Dakota

Discover South Dakota Automotive Museums, Events, and History.

Discover South Dakota Automotive Museums, Events, and History.

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South Dakota

South Dakota is an expansive, sparsely populated midwestern U.S. state where rolling prairies give way to the dramatic Black Hills National Forest. Black Hills is home to 2 historical monuments carved right into towering granite peaks: Mt. Rushmore, the iconic depiction of 4 revered U.S. presidents, and Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to the storied Native American tribal leader.

AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY

Lewis and Clark first came the area that is now South Dakota in 1804 and again in 1806, via the Missouri River. Later, when pioneers settled on this prairie land, lack of water, blizzards and isolation were the largest challenges, and the need for roads was necessary. By 1935, South Dakota had 2,000 miles of hard surfaced roads and 4,000 miles of gravel highways. The Governor appointed ten men, the Courtesy Patrol, to enforce traffic laws and provide roadside assistance. The Patrol was involved in many life-saving efforts but not in highway fatalities. They rescued residents and motorists during a record blizzard in 1949 and blizzards and floods in 1952. Driver’s licenses were first required in 1953.

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