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Museum Exhibits

The South Dakota Experience

Three museum galleries that illustrate the history of the state from its earliest inhabitants to present day. Discover the rich culture of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota Indian tribes. Experience the stories of the explorers, trappers, settlers, miners, and statesmen who helped establish South Dakota. Examine the changes and challenges that South Dakotans experienced in the 20th century.

Oyate Tawicoh'an [O-ya-ta Ta-wi-cho-han]
The Ways of the People

In the language of the Oceti Sakowin, the nation some call the Sioux, Oyate Tawicoh'an means The Ways of the People. Learn about the history, values and beliefs of the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota.

Proving Up

Proving Up explores the state's history from the placing of the Verendrye Plate in 1743 to the final fight for the state capital in 1904. Share the adventures of explorers, trappers, settlers, miners, and statesmen that established South Dakota.

Changing Times - South Dakota in the 20th Century

Examine the changes and challenges South Dakotans experienced during the 20th century. The state flourished when rail lines and automobiles rolled in and struggled when the Depression hit. Throughout the 1900's some settlers left, but most dug, rooted in this place, and grew to love it.


The Hogen Gallery

Silent Silos: South Dakota's Missile Field
This exhibit traces the development of the Cold War-era missile field in South Dakota. Featuring never-before seen artifacts from the collections of the SDSHS and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Watch a missileer training video, build your own fallout shelter, play Missile Command... and so much more!    


The Observation Gallery

Upstairs from the main gallery our Observation Gallery features a fantastic view of the State Capitol Building and the Missouri River bluffs.

The Right is Ours": Women Win the Vote

The exhibit provides an overview of the movement, across both South Dakota and the United States to give women the right to vote in state and national elections. It focuses primarily on the period from 1848 through 1920, but it also addresses the legacy and lessons of the women’s suffrage movement to the present day.     

The museum galleries also feature temporary and traveling exhibitions



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