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Capitol display to honor 125th

PIERRE -- Historic artifacts and exhibits will be on display in the state Capitol Building in Pierre on Friday to mark the passage of the Enabling Act of 1889.

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The Enabling Act, signed into law by President Grover Cleveland on Feb. 22, 1889, authorized the Dakota Territory to split and allowed those in what would become South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Washington to proceed in seeking statehood. After meeting the requirements established in the Enabling Act, South Dakota's admission to the Union was formally granted by President Benjamin Harrison on Nov. 2, 1889.

Several artifacts from the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society will be on display in the Capitol Rotunda from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., including:

• The pen President Benjamin Harrison used to sign the proclamations of statehood for South Dakota and North Dakota;

• Tickets to the Republican and Democratic state conventions held in Huron in 1889 to nominate candidates for the new state's offices;

• A ticket issued to Gideon Moody -- who was elected as one of the state's first U.S. senators -- to attend South Dakota's first legislative assembly in Pierre on Oct. 16, 1889;

• And a gavel made from a stair railing from Germania Hall in Sioux Falls -- the site of the state's constitutional conventions in 1883, 1885 and 1889. The gavel was used in the state House of Representatives until 1974.

Two traveling exhibits from the State Historical Society will also be displayed in the hallways of the first and second floors of the Capitol from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

-Source: South Dakota State Historical Society