Fifteen Presidents have
visited South Dakota during their time in office. They came for
vacations, to carry out presidential duties, and for political
purposes. Postage stamps have been issued with pictures of nine of
(1887-1901) was the
first President to visit South Dakota. He made a one-day visit October
14, 1899, making thirteen stops during the day as part of a
When Theodore Roosevelt
(1901-1919) visited South Dakota April 5-6, 1903 he was on a nine-week tour of the
country. In addition to Sioux Falls he stopped at several other towns.
Before he became President he had lived in North Dakota and visited in
South Dakota frequently. On January 3, 1903, Roosevelt had made Wind
Cave the seventh National Park. He delivered a speech on "The
Commission Principle" and participated in a parade in his honor in
Sioux Falls September 3-4, 1910.
William Howard Taft
Willaim Taft (1909-1913) spent three days in
South Dakota October 21-23, 1911 on his return to Washington from a
trip to the West Coast.
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) made a tour
of the western states to build support for the Treaty of Versailles,
which ended World War I. He spoke at the Colliseum in Sioux Falls to
7,000 people concerning the Treaty and the League of Nations on
September 8, 1919. The United States never ratified the Treaty of
Versailles, and did not join the League of Nations.
The Coolidges (1923-1929) spent the
summer of 1927 at the Game Lodge in the Black Hills. At a news
conference August 2 he made his famous announcement, "I do not choose
to run for president in 1928." While he was in South Dakota he
traveled to Mt. Rushmore to inaugurate work on the national monument
declaring that the monument was "decidely American in its conception,
magnitude and meaning. It is altogethr worthy of our country." He
received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from South Dakota State
Franklin D. Roosevelt
August 28-30, 1936 in South Dakota as a part of a tour of midwestern
states inspecting drought damage and relief projects. While he was
here he spoke at the unveiling and dedication of the head of Thomas
Jefferson on Mt. Rushmore.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(1953-1961) came to
South Dakota June 11, 1953 to speak to the national convention of the
Young Republican League on June 12. He stayed at the Game Lodge in the
Black Hills and went fishing. He left on June 13 after dedicated the
Rapic City Air Base naming it for Brigadier General Richard
Ellsworth.. He is quoted as having said, "The Black Hills of South Dakota are the best damn
place in the world to live."
John F. Kennedy
John Kennedy 91961-1963) visited South
Dakota on August 17, 1962 on his tour of the western states. While he
was here he dedicated the power plant at the Oahe Dam at Pierre.
Richard M. Nixon
visited South Dakota in 1969 to speak at the dedication of the Karl
Mundt library in Madison, South Dakota. In 1956, as vice-president he
had campaigned in Rapid City in 1956, and in Sioux Falls in 1960. Pat
Nixon's had lived in Lead during the early years of their marriage,
and she received a mining claim in teh Black Hills from her father's
estate, and paid taxes on it for several years.
Several other presidents have
visited South Dakota, but no stamps with their pictures have been
issued because they are still alive.