SDPB celebrates Capitol anniversary

SDPB celebrates Capitol anniversary Itâ�?�?s got some Wild West, plus engineering, artistry and a lot of politics built into it. The story of the South Dakota State Capitol is an epic tale. â�?�?Our Statehouse: A Capitol Ideaâ�? is South Dakota Public Broadcasting Televisionâ�?�?s first high-definition program. It looks at one of the stateâ�?�?s most iconic buildings from start to present day. The one-hour high-definition program debuts at a premiere party in the Capitol Rotunda in Pierre on Friday, June 20, as Pierre celebrates the laying of the cornerstone 100 years ago. The public is invited to the Capitol Rotunda at 1:30 p.m. to see the documentary. The program goes on-air statewide at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 22. The documentary features the history of the building, historical moments in the Capitol, including archival photographs and footage; the stories of some of the artistic elements; and more. A comprehensive website, still under construction, will include additional information, teacherâ�?�?s guide, interactive games and more. The story begins in 1861 with the establishment of Dakota Territory, leading to the creation of South Dakota and, eventually, the decision to make Pierre the Capitol City. A temporary wooden structure was built, followed by a permanent home for government with plans borrowed from neighboring Montana. The cornerstone was laid in 1908 and the construction of the permanent structure continued until 1910. â�?�?Our Statehouse: A Capitol Ideaâ�? will feature some of the historic moments that have taken place inside the Capitol walls, the controversial murals that grace its walls, the 14-year restoration that culminated with the State Centennial celebration in 1989 and a look at the building today as the state celebrates the Capitolâ�?�?s 100th anniversary. The documentary will be divided into three parts. Act I â�?¢ The Pre-Statehood Era â�?�? The story begins with the Dakota Territory created by the U.S. Congress in 1861. President Abraham Lincolnâ�?�?s good friend William Jayne was appointed Governor of Dakota Territory and established Yankton as the Capital. â�?¢ The Battle over Location â�?�? Campaigns by communities to win the right to be called the Capital City included political intrigue, bribery, deception and unethical tactics. Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Watertown and Wolsey are among the communities that fought to become the Capital. According to historian W.S. Davis, â�?�?the fight between two communities resorted to almost everything short of murder to obtain the votes.â�? â�?¢ Pierre wins! The Original Capitol â�?�? In 1904, Pierre won the right to be called the Capital for the last time â�?�? beating Mitchell by just over 17,000 votes. The building that stands today is not the same building first used over 100 years ago. Through archived photos, historical interviews and contemporary video, the documentary will explore the original wooden building. Eventually, the permanent buildingâ�?�?s $1 million price tag forestalled any future attempts to move the capital. Act II â�?¢ The Design and Construction â�?�? Todayâ�?�?s building was designed using the plans for�?  Montanaâ�?�?s State Capitol as a basis. The construction of this massive building did not come without struggles. Contractors dealt with bidding errors, unleveled ground, and the need to transport the massive materials using nothing more than man and mule. Materials used for the superstructure were Ortonville granite, Sioux Falls jasper and Bedford limestone from Indiana�? �?  The State Capitol we know today was dedicated on June 30, 1910. The cost was $951,000. â�?¢ The History within in the Walls â�?�? Many political leaders have called Pierre home and used the Capitol as their daily office. Some of those leaders will share their stories in the documentary. In addition, the building is filled with handcrafted sculptures, painted murals and fascinating architectural details.�?  Act III â�?¢ The Centennial Restoration â�?�? Over the years, the building was modified, but in 1975, a massive effort began to restore the building to its 1910 splendor. The restoration was completed in 1989 for South Dakotaâ�?�?s Centennial Celebration. â�?¢ The Capitol Today â�?�? South Dakotaâ�?�?s Capitol is still used today for many of the same purposes as 100 years ago. Much of the history remains in the Capitol today for all visitors to see. â�?�?Our Statehouse: A Capitol Ideaâ�? is supported by special gifts from BankWest, the Mary Chilton DAR Foundation, MDU Resources Foundation, the South Dakota Board of Realtors and numerous South Dakotans, as well as through the membership donations of the Friends of SDPB. South Dakota Public Broadcasting is a statewide multi-media network offering quality entertainment and lifelong learning via Television, Radio, Internet and Education & Outreach. For information about SDPB and the Friends of SDPB, go to or call 800-456-0766.

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