tv South Dakota Trail of Governors CSPAN October 8, 2017 11:05am-11:16am EDT
on the blog. thank you. [applause] watching american history tv. all weekend every weekend on c-span3. to join in on the conversation, like us on facebook at cspanhistory. we will hear about some of south dakota's former leaders. >> you might recognize these trail of governors which stretched all the way down to the missouri river. coming up next, we will hear about some of south dakota's former leaders. >> the trail of governors was started in 2011 by a couple of businessman in town who were a couple of history buffs and wanted to find a way to promote history in the capital city. the city gets a lot of taurus -- tourists who are visiting the capital, the capital city, and they wanted a way to inform people about the history of the state.
as far as we know, this place is anything -- this project is unlike anything else in the country. the project is to have a bronze statue of every governor. it starts at the state capital, and then it goes down capital avenue to the courthouse which was the site of the first capital building. it extends it down main street to the american legion headquarters. this is governor george s mickelson. it was really a period of transformation for the state. he was a very charismatic, energetic, positive guide. his father had been governor in the 1940's.
when he ran for governor, he was not a very well known man. he did a lot of door to door and on the ground campaigning. he won the election in a bit of a upset. he put a lot of emphasis on economic development. he was governor during our state centennial. he also really emphasized our relationship with the native american tribes. he also proposed that columbus day be renamed native american day. governor mickelson died in a plane crash when he had just about two years left in office. he had a group of state and his misleaders travel to cincinnati -- and business leaders to travel to cincinnati to talk about plans, and they had some bad weather on the way home.
the plane crashed near dibuque, iowa. he was a very young man what happened, and he is the only governor to die in office. there is a memorial built to governor nicholson and the other plane -- governor mickelson and the other plane crash victims. the statues make a real effort to capture the personality of the governor being portrayed. the governor here being portrayed as rather informal. he has his jacket slung over his shoulder, and he is reaching out his hand when he wants to shake hands. it very much portrays him as the active man that he was. a lot of our early governors have maybe faded into history,
but he is remembered very fondly. he was governor about 100 years ago. he was an interesting guy. he was the first governor to have been born in the state. as a young man, he started an artesian well digging business. he found a way to improve the process and make it a lot cheaper. by the end, he had made lots of money drilling wells with his crews. he is widely loved for that matter because a lot of the state became populated by his
efforts. he led the effort to start preserving the land in the black hills as parkland. he helped create one of the largest state parks in the country. he was very hands on, and he personally surveyed the highways himself. he laid out where the fence would go himself. he led the construction of a lot of the early facilities. this statue recalls that early elements of his legacy. the pigtailed bridges is another famous feature he led the construction of. he was a progressive, theodore roosevelt type of republican. he created a lot of state owned
enterprises, some worked out and some different. he served in the u.s. senate for the rest of his life. he was the driving force behind the construction of not rushmore at the federal level, the badlands national park -- behind the construction of mount rushmore at the federal level, the badlands national park as well. he has made a huge contribution to parkland in the united states. arthur was a native of indiana. he went to the university of indiana in bloomington. he ran a newspaper and was a lawyer there. he came to south dakota, because his wife had respiratory problems and indiana was too humid. so, he originally came to springfield, south dakota.
he was a friend of a senator in indiana at that time, and he was appointed to run the land office in the springfield, south dakota territory. he moved then to run the land office in a different part of the state. he became involved in early statehood efforts. there were a couple of early efforts to get to coda admitted as a -- to get dakota admitted as a state. when benjamin harrison was elected resident, it was good for him -- president, it was good for him for two reasons. one, he started the conversation about statehood and help make it final. he also turned out to be the last governor of the dakota territory. when we became a state, he was easily elected as our first governor.
this is governor bill janklow. he was south dakota's governor twice. he would later come back from 1995 to 2003. he is the longest serving governor in our state's history and the third longest-serving governor in the country. he really was a character, an outspoken, aggressive guy who would try to take action and sometimes very unorthodox ways. one of the things he is most remembered for is his management of disasters. when there was a tornado or some other type of disaster, he would be out there personally yelling out orders. we had a very active tornado once in a town called spencer in
1998, and he was one of the first people on the scene coordinating the response. this statue really represents that. you can see him holding a bullhorn in his hands which was not uncommon in that situation. he is also wearing a south dakota highway patrol jacket. the governors of south dakota tell you a lot about the history of our state. the first governors came from the midwest. they moved here as adults and help to set up the state and run it. you have the military people who moved here as children. most of our governors now born here -- were born here or came here as very young children. almost without exception, our governors have been fiscal conservatives. even a democrat during the depression cut spending. the governors have emphasized the pension plan. we are one of the only states in the country with a fully funded
pension plan. so, we are responsible and conservative, that we are also not afraid to the pragmatic and aggressive. you will have governors like your nordic -- like peter or bill or even our current governor in some cases, who will step outside of the ideological lens to get things done. that is what voters in the state want. >> this weekend, we are featuring the history of south dakota. you can learn more about the city and other cities on our city tour on c-span.com/citiestour. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3.