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 Rotu-nda 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 Web site, 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. It will explore the pre-statehood era, when Dakota Territory was 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. 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 Wols-ey 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�? 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. Even-tually, the permanent buildingâ�?�?s $1 million price tag forestalled any future attempts to move the capital. 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.
By David Lias For most people in Vermillion, Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson have been merely images on newsprint. The … Read Article