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1961: Martin Luther King Brings the Civil Rights Message to Sioux Falls

About six years after the Montgomery bus boycott began, and two years before his legendary "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington DC, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr visited Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns

In January 2020 Sioux Falls honored Dr. King's work and legacy with a life-sized bronze statue in Van Eps Park. The statue was made possible by the work of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, the City of Sioux Falls, and the Sioux Falls Arts Council.

"Black history is American history, so it's extremely important for people in Sioux Falls, in particular, to know our history, to know our place in history,” Julian Beaudion, Assistant Director of the South Dakota African-American Museum, told Dakota News Now in 2020.

Read More: New Statue Celebrates MLK's Legacy and His Trip to Sioux Falls  

“On behalf of the people of Sioux Falls, I want to dedicate this statue to the legacy of Martin Luther King, as well as those who have fought and continue to fight for justice, unity, and equality throughout the world, but especially in our own city,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said in 2020.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ben Kuhns is just some guy on the internet. He is a wannabe writer, and his wife thinks he's funny. He writes for Results-Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls South Dakota.


What Did South Dakota's License Plate Look Like the Year You Were Born?

The first number on a South Dakota license plate is the county that the car is registered. For example, Pennington county where Rapid City is has a '2' starting its plates. In Sioux Falls you have either a '1' or a '44' depending on your relationship to 57th street.

When established in 1956 (and revised in 1987) the first nine counties were ordered by population. Starting with 10 they are in alphabetical order through Ziebach, with Oglala Lakota County (65) and Todd (67) rounding out the list.

Today the top 10 plate numbers and populations don't correlate anymore. 1 and 2 are still 1 and 2, but Lincoln (44) is now 3rd in population. Beadle is 4 but it's now 11th in population. See the list by population here.

On January 1, 2023, South Dakota started issuing a new license plate design for license plates.

So, let's take a look back at what South Dakota license plates looked like over the last 100 years.

Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns

LOOK: 50 essential civil rights speeches

Many of the speakers had a lifetime commitment to human rights, but one tried to silence an activist lobbying for voting rights, before later signing off on major civil rights legislation. Several fought for freedom for more than one oppressed group.

Keep reading to discover 50 essential civil rights speeches.

Gallery Credit: Karen Johanson

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