Who Was the First President to Visit South Dakota?
Doesn't that fella pictured above look like a real party animal? Looks like he be a real hoot at a party down at the local watering hole doesn't he?
Well, he may not have been much of a late-night carouser, but he was in fact the President of the United Sates and the very first sitting President to visit us here in the Sunshine State.
Many President's over the years have come to our state to say 'How do', from Teddy Roosevelt to Taft to Woodrow Wilson to Calvin Coolidge. Heck, 'ol Silent Cal even made his 'Summer White House' home at the State Game Lodge out near Custer.
Ike, JFK, Nixon and Reagan and more have touched down in South Dakota. The latest, of course, was current President Barrack Obama.
But who was the very first who thought it worthwhile to stop by for coffee and conversation?
That would be the man pictured above, President William McKinley (Teddy Roosevelt had visited before McKinley but he wasn't President when he did).
McKinley stopped for a day in October of 1899, part of a 13 stop tour of the mid-west. It may not seem like much these days, but remember, 13 stops in the upper part of the country was no joyride in 1899!
Things, of course, did not end well for McKinley. Less than 2 years later in 1901 he was the 3rd President who fell from an assassin's bullet, elevating the aforementioned TR to the Presidency.
But for those of us in South Dakota, William McKinley was #1. I wonder if any of our ancestor's got to see him?