Of the four
presidents on Mt. Rushmore only Theodore Roosevelt had a connection
with South Dakota. He had a ranch in what is now North Dakota, and was
a deputy sheriff. He frequently visited Deadwood where he met Seth
Bullock, the first sheriff of Lawrence County on a prisoner exchange.
In 1901 he was elected Vice President, and a few months
later President McKinley was assassinated and he became President. In
1903 President Roosevelt signed legislation creating the Wind Cave
National Park in the southern Black Hills.
Roosevelt died in 1919, and Seth Bullock built the
Roosevelt Monument on Sheep Mountain, North of Deadwood. The peak was
renamed, Mt. Roosevelt. (Roosevelt had already arranged for "Scruten
Peak" south of Pactola to be renamed "Seth Bullock Peak.") From the monument, on a clear day, you can see
Roosevelt's ranch at Medora, North Dakota (if you know what to look
Charles A. Lindbergh
In May 1927 Charles
Lindbergh (1902-1974) made the first non-stop solo flight across the
Atlantic Ocean. After his return he made a 98 day nationwide air tour
of the United States. On August 27 he landed at the airport at Renner,
South Dakota. Contemporary records estimated that 30 to 40 thousand
people came to Renner to welcome him. On September 1 Lindbergh stayed
over night in Pierre, South Dakota, and on the following day he
"buzzed" the Game Lodge in Custer State Park, the "Summer White House"
of President Coolidge. On September 3 he flew over Deadwood, Lead, and
Laura Engalls Wilder
Laura Engalls Wilder's
book Little House on the Prairie" was her second book,
published in 1935. Her fifth book, Little Town on the Prairie,
published in 1941, was set in DeSmet, South Dakota in 1881-1882.
Frank L. Baum
L. Frank Baum lived in
Aberdeen, South Dakota from 1888 to 1891, and edited The
Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer from 1890 to 1891. In 1900 he published
his famous fantasy book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was
the basis for the motion picture, The Wizard of Oz, with Judy
Garland as Dorothy, released in 1939.