John James Audubon
John James Audubon was an American ornithologist and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats, his major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America, is considered one of the finest ornithological works completed. Audubon identified 25 new species. Audubon was born in Les Cayes in the French colony of Saint-Domingue on his father's sugarcane plantation, he was the son of Lieutenant Jean Audubon, a French naval officer from the south of Brittany, his mistress Jeanne Rabine, a 27-year-old chambermaid from Les Touches, Brittany. They named the boy Jean Rabin. Another 1887 biographer has stated, his mother died when the boy was a few months old, as she had suffered from tropical disease since arriving on the island. His father had an unknown number of mixed-race children, some by his mulatto housekeeper, Catherine "Sanitte" Bouffard. Following Jeanne Rabin's death, Jean Audubon renewed his relationship with Sanitte Bouffard and had a daughter by her, named Muguet.
Bouffard took care of the infant boy Jean. The senior Audubon had commanded ships. During the American Revolution, he had been imprisoned by Britain. After his release, he helped the American cause, he had long worked to secure his family's future with real estate. Due to slave unrest in the Caribbean, in 1789 he sold part of his plantation in Saint-Domingue and purchased a 284-acre farm called Mill Grove, 20 miles from Philadelphia, to diversify his investments. Increasing tension in Saint-Domingue between the colonists and the African slaves, who outnumbered them, convinced Jean Audubon to return to France, where he became a member of the Republican Guard. In 1791 he arranged for his natural children and Muguet, who were majority-white in ancestry, to be transported and delivered to him in France; the children were raised in Couëron, near Nantes, France, by Audubon and his French wife, Anne Moynet Audubon, whom he had married years before his time in Saint-Domingue. In 1794 they formally adopted both his natural children to regularize their legal status in France.
They renamed the girl Rose. When Audubon, at age 18, boarded ship in 1803 to immigrate to the United States, he changed his name to an anglicized form: John James Audubon. From his earliest days, Audubon had an affinity for birds. "I felt an intimacy with them... bordering on frenzy must accompany my steps through life." His father encouraged his interest in nature: He would point out the elegant movement of the birds, the beauty and softness of their plumage. He called my attention to their show of pleasure or sense of danger, their perfect forms and splendid attire, he would return with the seasons. In France during the chaotic years of the French Revolution and its aftermath, the younger Audubon grew up to be a handsome and gregarious man, he played flute and violin, learned to ride and dance. A great walker, he loved roaming in the woods returning with natural curiosities, including birds' eggs and nests, of which he made crude drawings, his father planned to make a seaman of his son. At twelve, Audubon became a cabin boy.
He found out that he was susceptible to seasickness and not fond of mathematics or navigation. After failing the officer's qualification test, Audubon ended his incipient naval career, he was exploring the fields again, focusing on birds. In 1803, his father obtained a false passport so that Audubon could go to the United States to avoid conscription in the Napoleonic Wars. Jean Audubon and Claude Rozier arranged a business partnership for their sons to pursue in Pennsylvania, it was based on Claude Rozier's buying half of Jean Audubon's share of a plantation in Haiti, lending money to the partnership as secured by half interest in lead mining at Audubon's property of Mill Grove. Audubon caught yellow fever upon arrival in New York City; the ship's captain placed him in a boarding house run by Quaker women. They nursed Audubon to recovery and taught him English, including the Quaker form of using "thee" and "thou", otherwise archaic, he traveled with the family's Quaker lawyer to the Audubon family farm Mill Grove.
The 284-acre homestead is located on the Perkiomen Creek a few miles from Valley Forge. Audubon lived with the tenants in the two-story stone house, in an area that he considered a paradise. "Hunting, fishing and music occupied my every moment. Studying his surroundings, Audubon learned the ornithologist's rule, which he wrote down as, "The nature of the place—whether high or low, moist or dry, whether sloping north or south, or bearing tall trees or low shrubs—generally gives hint as to its inhabitants." His father hoped that the lead mines on the property could be commercially developed, as lead was an essential component of bullets. This could provide his son with a profitable occupation. At Mill Grove, Audubon met the owner of the nearby estate Fatland Ford, William Bakewell, his daughter Lucy, he was married to Lucy five years later. The two young people shared many common interests, early on began to spend time together, exploring the natural world around them. Audubon set about to study American birds, determined to illustrate his findings in a more realist
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American orator and politician from Nebraska. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the Democratic Party, standing three times as the party's nominee for President of the United States, he served in the United States House of Representatives and as the United States Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Just before his death he gained national attention for attacking the teaching of evolution in the Scopes Trial; because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner". Born and raised in Illinois, Bryan moved to Nebraska in the 1880s, he won election to the House of Representatives in the 1890 elections, serving two terms before making an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1894. At the 1896 Democratic National Convention, Bryan delivered his "Cross of Gold speech" which attacked the gold standard and the eastern moneyed interests and crusaded for inflationary policies built around the expanded coinage of silver coins.
In a repudiation of incumbent President Grover Cleveland and his conservative Bourbon Democrats, the Democratic convention nominated Bryan for president, making Bryan the youngest major party presidential nominee in U. S. history. Subsequently, Bryan was nominated for president by the left-wing Populist Party, many Populists would follow Bryan into the Democratic Party. In the intensely fought 1896 presidential election, Republican nominee William McKinley emerged triumphant. Bryan gained fame as an orator as he invented the national stumping tour when he reached an audience of 5 million people in 27 states in 1896. Bryan retained control of the Democratic Party and won the presidential nomination again in 1900. In the aftermath of the Spanish–American War, Bryan became a fierce opponent of American imperialism, much of the campaign centered on that issue. In the election, McKinley again defeated Bryan, winning several Western states that Bryan had won in 1896. Bryan's influence in the party weakened after the 1900 election, the Democrats nominated the conservative Alton B. Parker in the 1904 presidential election.
Bryan regained his stature in the party after Parker's resounding defeat by Theodore Roosevelt, voters from both parties embraced the progressive reforms that had long been championed by Bryan. Bryan won his party's nomination in the 1908 presidential election, but he was defeated by Roosevelt's chosen successor, William Howard Taft. Along with Henry Clay, Bryan is one of the two individuals who never won a presidential election despite receiving electoral votes in three separate presidential elections held after the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment. After the Democrats won the presidency in the 1912 election, Woodrow Wilson rewarded Bryan's support with the important cabinet position of Secretary of State. Bryan helped Wilson pass several progressive reforms through Congress, but he and Wilson clashed over U. S. neutrality in World War I. Bryan resigned from his post in 1915 after Wilson sent Germany a note of protest in response to the sinking of Lusitania by a German U-boat. After leaving office, Bryan retained some of his influence within the Democratic Party, but he devoted himself to religious matters and anti-evolution activism.
He opposed Darwinism on humanitarian grounds, most famously in the 1925 Scopes Trial. Since his death in 1925, Bryan has elicited mixed reactions from various commentators, but he is considered to have been one of the most influential figures of the Progressive Era. William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois, on March 19, 1860, to Silas Lillard Bryan and Mariah Elizabeth Bryan. Silas Bryan had been born in 1822, had established a legal practice in Salem in 1851, he married Mariah, a former student of his at McKendree College, in 1852. Of Scots-Irish and English ancestry, Silas Bryan was an avid Jacksonian Democrat, he won election as a state circuit judge, in 1866 moved his family to a 520-acre farm north of Salem, living in a ten-room house, the envy of Marion County. Silas served in various local positions and sought election to Congress in 1872, but was narrowly defeated by the Republican candidate. An admirer of Andrew Jackson and Stephen A. Douglas, Silas passed on his Democratic affiliation to his son, who would remain a life-long Democrat.
Bryan was the fourth child of Silas and Mariah, but all three of his older siblings died during infancy. Bryan had five younger siblings, four of whom lived to adulthood. Bryan was home-schooled by his mother until the age of ten. Demonstrating a precocious talent for oratory, Byran gave public speeches as early as the age of four. Silas was a Baptist and Mariah was a Methodist, but Bryan's parents allowed him to choose his own church. At age fourteen, Bryan had a conversion experience at a revival, he said. At age fifteen, Bryan was sent to attend Whipple Academy, a private school in Jacksonville, Illinois. After graduating from Whipple Academy, Bryan entered Illinois College, located in Jacksonville. During his time at Illinois College, Bryan served as chaplain of the Sigma Pi literary society, he continued to hone his public speaking skills, taking part in numerous debates and oratorical contests. In 1879, while still in college, Bryan met Mary Elizabeth Baird, the daughter of an owner of a nearby general store, began courting her.
Bryan and Mary Elizabeth married on October 1, 1884. Mary Elizabeth would emerge as an important part of Bryan's career, managing his correspondence and helping him prepare speeches and articles. After graduating from college at the top of his class, Bryan studied law at Union Law College (which became Northwestern University
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States and the tenth chief justice of the United States, the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death. Taft was born in Cincinnati in 1857, his father, Alphonso Taft, was a U. S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. Taft attended Yale and, like his father, was a member of Bones. After becoming a lawyer, he was appointed a judge while still in his twenties, he continued a rapid rise, being named Solicitor General and as a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1901, President William McKinley appointed Taft civilian governor of the Philippines. In 1904, Roosevelt made him Secretary of War, he became Roosevelt's hand-picked successor.
Despite his personal ambition to become chief justice, Taft declined repeated offers of appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, believing his political work to be more important. With Roosevelt's help, Taft had little opposition for the Republican nomination for president in 1908 and defeated William Jennings Bryan for the presidency that November. In the White House, he focused on East Asia more than European affairs and intervened to prop up or remove Latin American governments. Taft sought reductions to trade tariffs a major source of governmental income, but the resulting bill was influenced by special interests, his administration was filled with conflict between the conservative wing of the Republican Party, with which Taft sympathized, the progressive wing, toward which Roosevelt moved more and more. Controversies over conservation and antitrust cases filed by the Taft administration served to further separate the two men. Roosevelt challenged Taft for renomination in 1912.
Taft used his control of the party machinery to gain a bare majority of delegates and Roosevelt bolted the party. The split left Taft with little chance of re-election and he took only Utah and Vermont in Wilson's victory. After leaving office, Taft returned to Yale as a professor, continuing his political activity and working against war through the League to Enforce Peace. In 1921, President Harding appointed Taft as an office he had long sought. Chief Justice Taft was a conservative on business issues and under him there were advances in individual rights. In poor health, he resigned in February 1930. After his death the next month, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the first president and first Supreme Court justice to be interred there. Taft is listed near the middle in historians' rankings of U. S. presidents. William Howard Taft was born September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alphonso Taft and Louise Torrey; the Taft family was not wealthy. Alphonso served as a judge, ambassador and in the cabinet, as War Secretary and Attorney General under Ulysses S. Grant.
William Taft was a hard worker. He attended Woodward High School in Cincinnati. At Yale College, which he entered in 1874, the heavyset, jovial Taft was popular, was an intramural heavyweight wrestling champion. One classmate described him succeeding through hard work rather than being the smartest, as having integrity. In 1878, Taft graduated, second in his class out of 121, he attended Cincinnati Law School, graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1880. While in law school, he worked on The Cincinnati Commercial newspaper, edited by Murat Halstead. Taft was assigned to cover the local courts, spent time reading law in his father's office. Shortly before graduating from law school, Taft went to the state capital of Columbus to take the bar examination and passed. After admission to the Ohio bar, Taft devoted himself to his job at the Commercial full-time. Halstead was willing to take him on permanently at an increased salary if he would give up the law, but Taft declined. In October 1880, Taft was appointed assistant prosecutor for Hamilton County, took office the following January.
Taft served for a year as assistant prosecutor. He resigned in January 1882 after President Chester A. Arthur appointed him Collector of Internal Revenue for Ohio's First District, an area centered on Cincinnati. Taft refused to dismiss competent employees who were politically out of favor, resigned effective in March 1883, writing to Arthur that he wished to begin private practice in Cincinnati. In 1884, Taft campaigned for the Republican candidate for president, Maine Senator James G. Blaine, who lost to New York Governor Grover Cleveland. In 1887, Taft aged 29, was appointed to a vacancy on the Superior Court of Cincinnati by Governor Joseph B. Foraker; the appointment was good for just over a year, after which he would have to face the voters, in April 1888, he sought election for the first of three times in his lifetime, the other two being for the presidency. He was elected to a full five-year term; some two dozen of Taft's opinions as a state judge survive, the most significant being Moores & Co. v. Bricklayers' Union No. 1 if only because it was used against him when he ran for president in 1908.
The case involved bricklayers who refused to work for any firm that de
Mitchell, South Dakota
Mitchell is a city in and the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 15,254 at the 2010 census. Mitchell is the principal city of the Mitchell Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Davison and Hanson counties; the first settlement at Mitchell was made in 1879. Mitchell was incorporated in 1883, it was named for Milwaukee banker Alexander Mitchell, President of the Chicago, St. Paul Railroad. Mitchell is located at 43°42′50″N 98°1′35″W, on the James River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.14 square miles, of which, 11.14 square miles is land and 1.00 square mile is water. Mitchell has been assigned the ZIP code 57301 and the FIPS place code 43100. Mitchell has a humid continental climate, like much of the Midwestern United States, with cold, sometimes snowy winters, hot, sometimes humid summers. Average daytime summer temperatures range from 86 °F during the day, 62 °F during the night, winter daytime temperatures average 26 °F during the day, 4 °F during the night.
Most of the precipitation falls during the summer months, the wettest month being June, with an average of 3.52 inches of rain, the driest month is January, with only 0.47 inches of rain. Mitchell is located in Tornado Alley, so thunderstorms spawning tornadoes, can be expected; the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University is located in southwest Mitchell. As of the census of 2010, there were 15,254 people, 6,696 households, 3,641 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,369.3 inhabitants per square mile. There were 7,120 housing units at an average density of 639.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 93.6% White, 0.5% African American, 3.0% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population. There were 6,696 households of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 45.6% were non-families.
38.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age in the city was 36.8 years. 22.6% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 14,558 people, 6,121 households, 3,599 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,475.7 people per square mile. There were 6,555 housing units at an average density of 664.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 95.63% White, 0.32% African American, 2.40% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.77% of the population. There were 6,121 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.2% were non-families.
34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.95. In the city, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 13.4% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males. As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $31,308, the median income for a family was $43,095. Males had a median income of $30,881 versus $20,794 for females; the per capita income for the city was $17,888. About 8.8% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over. Mitchell is home of the Corn Palace; the Corn Palace is decorated with several colors of dried corn and grains. The theme of the external murals is changed yearly at fall harvest.
The building itself is used for several purposes including a basketball arena, the local high school prom, trade shows, staged entertainment, the Shriner's Circus. Mitchell is the home of the Dakota Discovery Museum, whose mission is to present and preserve the history of the prairie and the people who settled it; the museum covers the time period from 1600, when the Native Americans were still undiscovered, to 1939, the end of the Great Depression. The museum holds one of the most complete and pristine collections of American Indian quill and bead-works; the Dakota Discovery Museum features artists such as Harvey Dunn, James Earle Fraser, Charles Hargens and Oscar Howe. In the village area behind the main building are four authentic historical buildings, including an 1885 one-room school house and the furnished 1886 Victorian-Italianate home of the co-founder of the Corn Palace, Louis Beckwith. Two new features of the museum are Discovery Land, a hands-on activity area for children ages five to ten, the Heritage Gardens Project, which brings indigenous plants to the gardens surrounding the museum and historical buildings.
The Mitchell Prehistoric India
Human Services Center
The Human Services Center in Yankton, South Dakota is a psychiatric hospital, built in 1882. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it was included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2009 list of America's Most Endangered Places. "Founded in 1879 as the South Dakota Hospital for the Insane, the institution’s collection of neo-Classical, Art Deco and Italianate buildings have long stood vacant, the state plans to tear down 11 of them."The institution's name has been changed several times from South Dakota State Hospital for the Insane to South Dakota Lunatic Asylum to South Dakota State Hospital, to Yankton State Hospital. In 1879, Governor William A. Howard considered the cities of Vermillion, Elk Point, Canton when he decided on Yankton. Yankton is situated on the Missouri River and was at that time the capital of the sparsely-settled Dakota Territory; the hospital was constructed at a total cost of $2,286.85. During the first six months 31 patients were admitted.
In 1880, 50 patients caused overcrowding, the hospital was understaffed. The population of Yankton was over 3,400, a remarkable increase from the less than 50 in 1859. In 1899, a devastating fire took the lives of seventeen women patients; this led the legislature to consider giving much needed funds to the hospital. This led them to build new smaller buildings, taking precautions to make the walls fireproof, the rooms for the patients were made much smaller. In 1918, the name of the hospital was changed from Dakota Hospital for the Insane to the Yankton State Hospital; this was done because of complaints that the original name had a derogatory connotation and other types of patients such as alcoholics, drug addicts, epileptics were housed there. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the institution and the rest of the nation, went through a difficult period. An increasing rate of admissions combined with a decreasing budget due to the Great Depression. Overcrowding was a serious problem in the late 1930s.
However, incoming patients were released within a few months, due to updates in healthcare, thus helping to ease the overcrowding problem. World War II disrupted the flow of progress. Wages at the institution were poor and with so many men gone to war, hospital employees left to take up better-paying jobs; the 1950s brought increased understanding of mental illness and relatives of patients were more willing to accept them, rather than wanting to hide them in Yankton. Medical work at Yankton became more systematized than before. Changing attitudes toward the mentally ill contributed to improving conditions at the hospital. Various forms of physical force, such as the use of strait-jackets, were discontinued; the 1960s saw a significant enlargement of the medical staff. While the staff was of better quality than at any previous time, patients being locked up in the back wards as punishment and being threatened with never getting out of the hospital for disobeying the rules continued; the need was seen at this time for a geriatric department.
In addition, the population at the hospital continuously decreased year after year. From 1968-1973, a great deal of activity took place. Construction was started on a new central building as well as another facility. In addition, four other buildings were renovated. On July 1, 1974, the name of the facility was changed from Yankton State Hospital to the South Dakota Human Services Center; the change was enacted by session of the Legislature to more reflect the services such as dietary help, mental health, drug addicts, alcoholics and epileptics. The 1980s saw further development in programs available to HSC patients. In 1991, Governor George S. Mickelson found it would be more costly to renovate the old buildings dating back to the 1800s than to construct new ones designed to meet the needs of the state. Governor Mickelson advanced bills proposing design and construction of a new psychiatric facility which passed by an overwhelming majority of the 1992 State Legislature. Dedication and Ground Breaking Ceremonies were held on April 28, 1994.
Recognizing the efforts of Governor Mickelson, the new facility was dedicated "George S. Mickelson Center for the Neurosciences." The new facility was completed in the fall of 1996 and was occupied in October 1996. Skywalks have been built to connect the renovated original buildings; the hospital remains in operation. 1935 aerial photo of the Yankton State Hospital complex: http://www.daylife.com/photo/02JC8aY5QhaL5
1940 United States Census
The Sixteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 123,202,624 people. The census date of record was April 1, 1940. A number of new questions were asked including where people were 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved, information about wages; this census introduced sampling techniques. Other innovations included a field test of the census in 1939; this was the first census in which every state had a population greater than 100,000. The 1940 census collected the following information: In addition, a sample of individuals were asked additional questions covering age at first marriage and other topics. Full documentation on the 1940 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Following completion of the census, the original enumeration sheets were microfilmed; as required by Title 13 of the U.
S. Code, access to identifiable information from census records was restricted for 72 years. Non-personally identifiable information Microdata from the 1940 census is available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. On April 2, 2012—72 years after the census was taken—microfilmed images of the 1940 census enumeration sheets were released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration; the records are indexed only by enumeration district upon initial release. Official 1940 census website 1940 Census Records from the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration 1940 Federal Population Census Videos, training videos for enumerators at the U. S. National Archives Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts from the U. S. Census Bureau Snow, Michael S. "Why the huge interest in the 1940 Census?"
CNN. Monday April 9, 2012. 1941 U. S Census Report Contains 1940 Census results 1940 Census Questions Hosted at CensusFinder.com
South Dakota is a U. S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States; as the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889 with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city. South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Montana; the state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River". Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending.
Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, are in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west; the state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome. Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming.
While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still influence the state's culture. South Dakota is in the north-central United States, is considered a part of the Midwest by the U. S. Census Bureau; the culture and geography of western South Dakota have more in common with the West than the Midwest. South Dakota has a total area of 77,116 square miles, making the state the 17th largest in the Union. Black Elk Peak named Harney Peak, with an elevation of 7,242 ft, is the state's highest point, while the shoreline of Big Stone Lake is the lowest, with an elevation of 966 ft. South Dakota is bordered to the north by North Dakota.
The geographical center of the U. S. is 17 miles west of Castle Rock in Butte County. The North American continental pole of inaccessibility is between Allen and Kyle, 1,024 mi from the nearest coastline; the Missouri River is the longest river in the state. Other major South Dakota rivers include the Cheyenne, Big Sioux, White Rivers. Eastern South Dakota has many natural lakes created by periods of glaciation. Additionally, dams on the Missouri River create four large reservoirs: Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case, Lewis and Clark Lake. South Dakota can be divided into three regions: eastern South Dakota, western South Dakota, the Black Hills; the Missouri River serves as a boundary in terms of geographic and political differences between eastern and western South Dakota. The geography of the Black Hills, long considered sacred by Native Americans, differs from its surroundings to such an extent it can be considered separate from the rest of western South Dakota. At times the Black Hills are combined with the rest of western South Dakota, people refer to the resulting two regions divided by the Missouri River as West River and East River.
Eastern South Dakota features higher precipitation and lower topography than the western part of the state. Smaller geographic regions of this area include the Coteau des Prairies, the Dissected Till Plains, the James River Valley; the Coteau des Prairies is a plateau bordered on the east by the Minnesota River Valley and on the west by the James River Basin. Further west, the James River Basin is low, flat eroded land, following the flow of the James River through South Dakota from north to south; the Dissected Till Plains, an area of rolling hills and fertile soil that covers much of Iowa and Nebraska, extends into the southeastern corner of South Dakota. Layers deposited during the Pleistocene epoch, starting around two million years ago, cover most of eastern South Dakota; these are the youngest rock and sediment layers in the state, the product of several successive periods of glaciation which deposited a large amount of rocks and soil, known as till, over the area. The Great Plains cover most of the western two-thirds of South Dakota.
West of the Missouri Rive