South Dakota

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General John J. Pershing

     John J. Pershing (1860-1948) graduated 30th in a class of 77 from West Point in 1886. After serving with the cavalry in New Mexico he served in South Dakota in charge of Indian scouts in 1890. From September 1981 to 1895 he was Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Nebraska.

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John Phillip Sousa

     The Mitchell Corn Palace was begun in 1892. Many important musical groups performed during the annual expositions over the years. In 1904 John Phillip Sousa's band made its first appearance. The second Corn Palace was built in 1905. The Sousa band also appeared in 1907 and 1925. His was the only group to appear in all three Corn Palace buildings.

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Land Lottery

     In 1887  the Dawes act declared that Indian land not allotted to an individual was "surplus," and was to be distributed in a lottery. One of the participants in Gregory was 27 year old Harry S Truman, later to be the  32nd President of the United States, serving from 1945 to 1953.
     He arrived in Gregory around 10:30 p.m. on October 16, 1911 and registered. About 7 hours later he was on a train back to Missouri. His registration card had not been selected for a claim. He wrote "I never could draw anything.... You see, I am born under Neptune or some other far distant and unlucky star. I guess it's good for me that I haven't [a] pessimistic disposition. It seems best to be silly and grow fat. Just keep imagining that my luck will change someday."

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