On This Day in Sioux Falls History
A couple of big events happened in Sioux Falls on August 5th - one occurred in 1939, and the other in 1961. Any guesses?
The first one, in 1939, is when the Sioux Empire Fair first opened. Since that time, the fair has been held annually each summer at the W. H. Lyon Fairgrounds.
Like most fairs, the Sioux Empire Fair includes carnival rides, fair food, livestock shows, horse shows, and art competitions daily. Special themed days are also featured.
To view the schedule for this year's Sioux Empire Fair, CLICK HERE.
The other big event that occurred in Sioux Falls on August 5th is when the Minnesota Vikings played the Dallas Cowboys at Howard Wood Field. It happened in 1961.
Both were expansion teams in the NFL at the time, and both made their professional debuts in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The game never would have happened if not for legendary football coach Bob Burns who first had to sell the idea to local business leaders.
In order to bring the teams to town, Burns would need $30,000 to pay the teams - which obviously was a lot of money back then.
So he began reaching out to business leaders in Sioux Falls to help sponsor the game and sell tickets.
By the time game day rolled around, only 5,000 fans attended the preseason game during what was described as a "hot and humid day."
But the most memorable thing to come out of that game was when the Vikings starting quarterback got injured and was replaced by rookie, Fran Tarkenton.
Tarkenton threw his first NFL touchdown pass in that game, and despite losing 38-13, the Vikings found themselves a future star and hall of fame quarterback.
By the way, the price for tickets for the game was between $3.50 and $5.50.