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Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month
May 2021 

South Dakota's Historic Preservation Month has been observed since it was established at the national level in May 1973. In 2005 the state added archaeology to the celebration to recognize it as a partner in preserving history. Our state's cultural heritage is rich and diverse as represented by thousands of archaeological and historical sites, historic buildings and landscapes that have been discovered and recorded throughout the state. Public appreciation and understanding is the foundation of protecting and preserving South Dakota's past for future generations.

The theme for 2021, "It's in Our Bones," encourages us to think about the historic sites all around South Dakota. With good stewardship, they can remain viable for many years. 

The South Dakota State Historical Society would like to know what your favorite South Dakota historic site is. We will share your responses on the Society's Historic Preservation Facebook page. You may send us an e-mail to, or tag us on your own Facebook post using @southdakotashpo. We look forward to receiving your comments!

Student Essay Contest 2022

This Place Matters is a national campaign that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and to their communities, and national Preservation Month is the perfect time to share it with the world.  The South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office is asking South Dakota's 4th graders to share their This Place Matters stories.

The South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office sponsors a 4th grade student essay contest. This competition proposes to enable students to achieve a better appreciation of their historic resources, the stories they tell, and why they should be preserved.  With the theme of This Place Matters, students are asked to write an essay about any South Dakota location that is at least 50 years old, why it is a favorite place for them, and why it should be preserved.  It does not need to be a historic site and writing a history of the location is not necessary.

Click here for the Essay Contest Flyer.

Click here for the Essay Contest Guidelines.

Click here for the Essay Contest Entry Form.

Click here to read the 2021 winning essays.

 copy of the 2021 South Dakota Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month Executive Proclamation
  2021 Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month Executive Proclamation
  Please click on the image to see a larger version.


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