As we get ready to officially welcome summer in the next couple of weeks (June 21), our thoughts turn to planning that perfect getaway to enjoy the warmer weather and extended daylight.

For a lot of us in South Dakota, that means a trek to the Black Hills and all of the things they have to offer.

But vacationing in western South Dakota is hardly a new concept. People from all over the globe have been coming to the area for decades.

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Recently, I stumbled across a segment from the 1962 television show America!, which ran in prime time on NBC and was hosted by actor Jack Douglas.

The premise of the show was to take the viewer on an 'armchair vacation' of various spots around the country.

This 23-minute film captures the Black Hills from 60 summers ago and takes you to:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Wind Cave National Park
  • Custer State Park
  • Needles Highway
  • Stockade Lake
  • Sioux Nation Pow Wow
  • Mount Roosevelt
  • Deadwood
  • Boot Hill Cemetery
  • Belle Fourche Black Hills Roundup
  • Canyon Lake
  • Reptile Gardens
  • Storybook Island
  • Dinosaur Park
  • 1880 Train
  • Hill City

So sit back and enjoy your 'armchair vacation' to the Black Hills circa 1962:


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